The Malta Independent 21 May 2019, Tuesday

MEP candidate Cami Appelgren to kayak the Maltese coastline with a clean-up twist

Jeremy Micallef Thursday, 7 March 2019, 12:57 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Maltese coastline will be guest to Europe hopeful Cami Appelgren and a team of kayakers who will be circling the island to highlight the issue of pollution in Maltese waters for her Kayak2Cleanup trip.

Partit Demokratiku MEP candidate Cami Appelgren is an environmental activist and founder of Malta Clean Up, an ongoing campaign to clean up the Maltese islands and improve its environment through civil action.


Speaking during her presentation at the Blexr offices, a performance marketing company based in Sliema that is sponsoring the event, Appelgren explained that the event will take place on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April, where four or five divers and kayakers will kayak around Malta, stopping only from sunset to sunrise for the group to make camp.

“The best way to tackle litter and plastic pollution is to simply pick it up whenever it’s seen or report it to the local authority,” she said.

The kayakers will be followed by a safety boat and the rubbish they collect will be taken away to be properly disposed of. The trip will be trackable via GPS and live updates will be provided by both the safety boat crew and the kayakers themselves.

Starting from Birzebbuga, they will also be going ashore in remote bays, such as Fomm ir-Rih, which are polluted by litter originating from Malta and overseas.

Quoting a report from the World Wildlife Fund that really put things into perspective for her, she explained that the Mediterranean Sea a rate of plastic four times higher than the fabled ‘plastic island’ found in the Northern Pacific Ocean.

She insisted that whilst promoting a green and circular economy is important, the blue economy, referencing sea pollution, should also be given attention on its own right.

Cleaning up just solves the top layer of pollution, she maintained, issues will keep coming up from the sources of said pollution.

Apart from the kayakers themselves doing the cleanups, volunteers from Blexr and the wider public are being encouraged to take part both out at sea, and on land all around the various bays of the island.

Blexr COO Eduardo dos Remedios said that having spent a lot of time in the waters around Malta, swimming and free-diving, he has witnessed first-hand the increasing levels of plastic pollution in the sea.

“We are proud to be supporting Cami in her efforts to raise awareness of this important issue, and we are asking our staff to volunteer to help with her latest clean up,” he said.

Information of the litter gathered will be collected and detailed statistics will be drawn up after the event takes place.


Photos: Alenka Falzon/Cami Appelgren

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