The beaches of Quintana Roo face new contaminants

There are new pollutants on the beaches of Quintana Roo, in addition to sargassum, which has been generated as a result of the pandemic, among them masks and gloves, and in general all plastics, which are threatening the ecosystem.

The beaches of Quintana Roo face new contaminants
New pollutants such as face masks and plastics at the beaches of Quintana Roo are worrying the authorities. Photo by Carlos Gilbert / Unsplash

The beaches of Quintana Roo are facing, in addition to sargassum, new pollutants that have been generated as a result of the pandemic, including mouth covers and gloves, and in general, all plastics, which are threatening the ecosystem.

"During previous years, beach cleanups were carried out and we noticed plastic trash, cigarette butts, cans, as well as PET waste, and now we have the added task of collecting the waste brought by the pandemic, which is reaching the ocean, which is not positive," said Erwin Farret, Ventura Entertainment's regional marketing manager.

Mireya Carrillo García, leader of Amigos de Sian Ka'an, said that "garbage from more than 48 countries has been found on the beaches, mangroves, and protected natural areas. In the area of Punta Allen alone, 31 cleaning brigades have collected 4.5 tons of waste and debris, mainly plastic", he said, as reported by Sipse.

However, plastic waste is still of great concern because it hurts and causes diseases in species such as whale sharks and turtles, as well as corals. During the forum "Conservation and Regeneration of the Oceans", Aysha Peña Torres, director of Unidos por la Madre Naturaleza, explained that the state's ecosystem is made up of jungles, underwater rivers, cenotes, mangroves, and reefs, which are connected and the waste generated at home, such as sewage, has a high possibility of reaching the corals.

For this reason, cleanups will be done now in Playa Esmeralda, where 600 volunteers in two hours can help clean the place. And the last one will be at Playa Delfines on June 25. "We believe that the more volunteers that join in, the cleaner the beaches will be, because we saw an improvement after the pandemic, since for a long time the beaches were kept without people, and it is important to be aware not to leave waste, but also to change habits that help to generate less waste," said Farret.

To find new alternatives that allow greater efficiency in the collection of sargassum, the municipal president of Playa del Carmen, Lili Campos, held a working meeting with representatives of the business sector where she was presented with different models of boats designed to collect the seaweed in the open sea, crush it and release it into the ocean currents so that it is diverted and does not reach the coasts of this important municipality of the Riviera Maya.