Trash pollutes Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline In this Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018 photo, a TV screen floats next to rocky coastal area in the Mediterranean Sea on the Beirut coastline, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
Trash pollutes Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline
Lexile

Plastic bottles and soft drink cans. Blue garbage bags. An old television and discarded vegetables. And coffee cups. These are some of the random things that can be seen floating in the sea along Lebanon's coastline.

The country's Mediterranean coastline has become a source of shame. For many Lebanese, that is due to the swirling trash. It pollutes its shores. The coastline was once a source of pride.

Ahmad Obeitri is a fisherman. For the past 30 years, he has been a fixture at Lebanon's corniche. It is popular seaside promenade in central Beirut. He says the trash is killing off what's left of marine life.

"These days if a fish comes our way it will only find nylon bags, garbage and sewage to feed on." he said. He laments the people who eat and drink as they walk on the corniche. He sees them toss their cans, tins and other containers. They toss them into the sea.

"You can open a cafe under water and invite your friends," he added sarcastically.

Littering is not Lebanon's only problem. The country has a long-running solid waste management problem. It caused summer riots in 2015 as trash piled in the streets. The government solved the problem. They simply shifted the trash to landfills and coastal dumps. These often run into the Mediterranean.

Environmentalists say thousands of tons of trash and untreated waste is getting dumped directly into the sea.

Abdullah Absi is a 56-year-old civil engineer and swimmer. He said the open sewage running into the sea is his biggest problem.

There is a group of 50 swimmers, including Absi. They recently organized a 4.6-kilometer swim to highlight the problem. They also promoted the idea that the sea is for all.

"We see the violations are increasing and there is no deterrent," he said.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How else do you think Abdullah Absi and his group of swimmers can raise awareness of the pollution problem?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (22)
  • SummerS-dec
    12/29/2018 - 08:02 p.m.

    I don't think people care anymore. If the whole world explodes because there is too much trash, it won't be my problem. It will be the rich people's fault. Rich people throw more things away than poor people like me.

  • MorgynB-dec
    1/02/2019 - 11:20 a.m.

    Abdullah and his group can raise awareness of this problem is by creating posters, make a website, protest. We should also already know about this problem ourselves and try not to pollute that ocean.

  • HayleeA-dec
    1/02/2019 - 01:10 p.m.

    I think that it’s a good idea that they have 59 swimmers going out to take the trash out of the coastline because the aluminum,glass,and plastic can harm the animals and even worst kill them and that’s a horrible thing!

  • AlyssaF-dec
    1/07/2019 - 10:25 a.m.

    I don’t even know why people throw thier trash in the sea! It’s gross and animals live in there. We wouldn’t like it if litter was all around us. This problem happens more than just a here to we need to stop it.

  • JesseM-dec1
    1/10/2019 - 09:47 a.m.

    I thank people should not litter becase it people and animals can die from it. I think they should make littering bills cost more money.

  • DylanL-dec
    1/10/2019 - 10:14 a.m.

    This article is very inspirational. I'm glad that they are doing something the pollution in the oceans.

  • JacobS-dec
    1/14/2019 - 09:29 a.m.

    People shouldn’t throw stuff in the water. It kills the wildllife.

  • BelaggioC-dec
    1/15/2019 - 09:28 a.m.

    I have heard about the government dumping trash into the ocean why don't they get those giant trash burning things in toy story?

  • ReedA-dec
    1/15/2019 - 09:45 a.m.

    This is so stupid why do people have to be so lazy to just walk over to a trash can and throw their trash in that but instead they have to be stupid and lazy and litter all over our nice beaches which end up in our nice oceans as this article is about.

  • GabbyB-dec
    1/15/2019 - 11:01 a.m.

    I is incredible that people can't walk ten feet to throw garbage away. People have gotten extremely lazy.

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