Garbage and Pollution in Bisceglie, Puglia, Italy

As you may have read in previous posts, I sometimes write about the trash...poo and various other rubbish around Italy. Garbage is accumulated on the streets and beaches and remain there for a long time, including and around the coast of Puglia. Amazingly, people have this ability to sunbathe on the beach and seemingly ignore refuse sitting just inches away from them. Unrecyclable plastic cups and plates are still sold and used in all offices, schools, and businesses, including large parties and/or social gatherings. I've interviewed many people young and old, and they all seem to be aware of the problem, but they're not too disturbed by it, nor are they moved to action.

Well, my hardworking friends Jim and Amory have been pro-active about this issue, whereas, shamefully....I just complain about it. I really admire them because I just don't have the optimism and "go get 'em'" attitude like they do. They - with their cheerful determination, have gone out and collected 20 bags of trash from the beach in our area off the coast of Puglia, Italy in approximately two weeks. They believe that through action, other people will see them picking up the various pieces of plastic, rubbish, Styrofoam, etc., and that they too, will be moved into action and do something about the overwhelming amount of garbage. Ironically, the day I called them about how the rubbish collecting was going, they had just seen a man looking for a spot on the beach to do a "number 2." This is another problem that Italy has, which I've written about in one of my previous posts - TITS AND TURDS. 

I leave you with a direct quote from a friend:

There is evidence that plastic is breaking down in our drinking water and causing problems such as miscarriages - who knows what else the chemicals cause.  You've probably seen the CNN reports on the trash pile as big as Texas in the middle of the Pacific - it is mainly plastic that is breaking down into toxic chemicals.  I think most of the plastic washes up on shore but probably 30-40% is produced by locals - I've estimated this by looking at the type of trash and its location. Occasionally, there is a trash bag with trash in it that has been purposefully dumped on the beach.  Not sure why they don't use the garbage bins that are conveniently Ireland, they have to pay to dump any garbage - can you imagine what would happen here if they had to do that!!!

Jim - happily collecting garbage.

A close-up view of the garbage, styrofoam and other pieces of rubbish along the beach. These are the same beaches that thousands of Italians flock too during the summer. And yes, they lie amongst all this garbage and yet do nothing about it. 

This is Sandy - and she enjoys collecting garbage too!
Isn't she cute?!
It saddens me greatly that people seem indifferent and apathetic, and to watch such natural beauty be spoiled. However, it lightens my heart to know that a few friends care about it so much that they are willing to do something about it. And I have to say...that it's working for me because I cycled by the beach yesterday and saw the difference that their hard work has made. So, I too, hope that I can help them in their efforts.  


  1. Props to your strength and willingness to help and to make this change!

  2. Reese, Darn. The photos didn't come through! I have a good mental picture though from your great descriptions. Sue

  3. i'm so glad someone took action!! i can't tell you enough how upsetting it is to me to see a perfectly beautiful natural beach defiled by trash and cigarette butts..

  4. It's too bad there's not much more of a social campaign against that stuff there.

    What do you think would really motivate locals to care about their environment?

    Okinawans are really obsessed with recycling and keeping the streets clean, but that's because they're on a tiny island!

  5. Although, you all may be thousands of miles away. Thanks for your support. My friends and I really appreciate it.

    I think that people don't realize or don't acknowledge that plastic and other types of pollution affects us all and it's not just one person's or one country's problem, but a global one.


  6. i find this absolutely fascinating, mind-boggling and of course, disgusting. when i think of italy, i think of wine, passion, and beauty. not of poop! i did know about the garbage problem already, and that is bad enough. but i just cannot fathom a place where people that HAVE access to proper facilities just do it on the ground in public!


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