The Malta Independent 22 July 2019, Monday

In two days, six people paddled around Malta to shed light on marine pollution

Monday, 24 June 2019, 18:33 Last update: about 27 days ago

On Saturday morning at 7am, the Kayak2Cleanup team left Birzebbuga with one mission, to shed light on marine pollution and paddle around Malta in two days.

On Sunday evening, the Kayak2Cleanup group entered Birzebbuga once again, after having paddled in total 81.06 km. The distance was achieved in two legs; Birzebbuga - Dingli - Cirkewwa on day 1 and Cirkewwa - St Paul's Bay - Birzebbuga on day 2. For two days the team paddled a total of 19 hours 6 minutes and 27 seconds, just taking a few breaks to stretch their legs and to rest for the night at Cirkewwa. 

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The participants were: Karl Borg, Alan Borg, David Abela, Maggie Goraj, Luca Catania and Cami Appelgren.

The purpose of this journey was to highlight the marine pollution, specifically plastic pollution. The team also promoted the importance of green spaces, public health and kayaking.

During the journey the team of six collected quite large amount of sea debris including ghost fishing gear, plastic bottles, plastic bags, food wrappers, big nylon ropes from the fishing industry, polystyrene floats and so on.

The initiative of Kayak2Cleanup said that when people unite and work together "we can create change. Recycling and reusing are both good things to do, but reduction is the only safe way forward. The recycling industry is not a closed loop and too much of it risks leaking into the environment. We simply can't afford to just concentrate on recycling or reusing, the and reduction is at the top of the for a reason. Closing the tap of plastic production is a must if we wish to save our sea."

"We also need to build communities with a healthy environment where people push each other to achieve and be more environmental friendly. The event of Kayak2Cleanup showed that we can achieve amazing things when we decide to work together. The team started planning this event during spring, but due to bad weather it was postponed with no set date."

"Last week the weather forecast showed great conditions, which is a must when it comes to kayaking, and the team decided to go for it. In two days they managed to get several individuals to help them make this event a success story. They had a support boat, camping arrangement, food, gear and so on. It wouldn't have been possible without the supportive people and it shows how important every individual is. No matter how big or small the contribution is, they are still a piece of the puzzle."

Kayak2Cleanup will happen regularly going forward and experienced kayakers are asked to contact Cami Appelgren for more information about next event should they wish to join.

Photos by Gilbert Vancell

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