Mirpuri Foundation efforts to tackle the scourge of plastic pollution were fought on the beaches this week as a team of committed Mirpuri Foundation and Hi Fly airline volunteers joined renowned Portuguese environmental activist Miguel Lacerda for a Beach Clean Up at Assentiz Beach, Portugal.

The team collected over 600 litres of plastic waste from the coastal cliffs in the shadow of Cabo da Roca, the most westerly point of continental Europe.

The famous cliffs, about a 40-minute drive from Lisbon, about half-way on the road between Sintra and Cascais, and the cape rises to about 150 metres above sea level. Atlantic Ocean currents force marine debris deep between the rocks, leaving it often hard to get to, as well as becoming a hazard for local wildlife.

With so much debris trapped in the cliffs volunteers tried to concentrate their efforts on priority garbage such as Styrofoam and polyethylene bottles, both of which are among the fastest plastics to breakdown into troublesome micro-plastics, tiny plastic pieces which are harmful to aquatic life and are a risk to human health. These are then spread worldwide on the tides. The plastic wast collected also had identifying marks showing debris arriving here from as far away as the USA and Canada. 

Once again, the Mirpuri Foundation has shown that positive action is the way forward on plastic pollution, and works hard to make a tangible difference on Portugal coasts, but also worldwide.

“Many people talk about trying to make a difference, but today, here, on our own coasts we see volunteers high up in the cliffs, at great risk to themselves, doggedly pulling plastic ropes, nets, and other debris from deep in the earth”, said Ana Agostinho, Mirpuri Foundation Public Relations Manager.

“The Mirpuri Foundation would like to thank Miguel Lacerda for his efforts in leading today’s clean up, but equally, everyone who came here today and gave up their time for the good of others and the planet.

“Most days Miguel can be found hiking and climbing dangerous coastal cliffs and caves, cleaning up rubbish and marine pollutants. He chose this life, and I believe we should all be inspired by him. We are proud that he chose to spend this day with us.

“That he showed our volunteers how to make a practical difference. Our beaches and oceans are cleaner as a result of his determination,” Ana added.