Two women will be running the entire Maltese coastline, or the equivalent of three marathons back-to-back, in an effort to raise awareness about waste.
Trudy Kerr and Deborah Gatt will be undertaking the 126km runs next year after being inspired by Neil Agius, who swam around all of Malta this past summer and urged people to support him by picking up waste.
Mr Agius told the Times of Malta he had decided to start the #waveofchange campaign, which urges people to pick up three pieces of plastic every time they visited a beach or coastline, after being alarmed by growing volumes of marine waste.
His endeavours have inspired Ms Kerr and Ms Gatt, who will be running the circumferences of Malta, Gozo and Comino on three days in March, April and May. Running groups and individuals are being invited to join along the way and clean-ups will also be organised along the route, with teams around the country getting together to collect waste.
The campaign is not a fundraising venture
“The campaign is not a fundraising venture but targeted to raise awareness on the irresponsible attitude towards rubbish and specifically plastic,” Ms Kerr said.
Prospective participants are asked to sign up by collecting three pieces of rubbish and posting a picture on social media with the hashtag #waveofchange.
Malta is still lagging in dealing with its growing waste problem, statistics show.
The country was dubbed “the dirtiest in Europe” by international media after a European Commission report warned Malta is at risk of missing its 2020 municipal waste recycling targets.
A press conference announcing the two runners’ initiative also comes just one week after large volumes of plastic fragments and litter washed up on Għajn Tuffieħa.
The waste, which was believed to have accumulated because of the rough seas, had to be cleared by hand.
“We need to face reality, adopt a more circular economy approach, while changing our mentality and norms,” Environment Minister José Herrera had said following that clean-up.
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