RIGA - The amount of trash littering beaches in Latvia is much higher than the European Union's (EU) environmental standards permit and is increasing by the year, Valdis Purvinskis, chairman of the board of Vizii Urban, a waste management company of CleanR grupa, told LETA.
This year Vizii Urban has been taking care of nearly 30 kilometers of the Baltic seashore - in Jurmala and Liepaja, as well as Vakarbulli in Riga, where the beaches are frequented by an especially high number of people. This past summer, the urban maintenance company removed 435 tons of rubbish from the beaches in Jurmala alone.
Purvniskis also noted that according to EU standards, the situation on a beach can be considered good if the amount of litter does not exceed 20 items of trash per 100 meters. This year, the total volume of waste on Latvia's seacoast is 375 items of waste per 100 meters of beach, compared to an average of 229 items of waste last year.
"Waste monitoring results are a mirror of society and its habits. The dirtiest seashores in Latvia are those where there are a lot of people, because almost everything we collect on beaches is left by visitors," Purvinskis said.
The items most often left on the sand are small litter such as bottle caps and cigarette butts. Plastic bags, disposable cups and dishes, plastic and glass bottles, wipes, magazines and leftover food are also commonplace.
Vizii Urban, registered in July 2022, is a member of CleanR waste management group.
In 2022, CleanR Grupa achieved EUR 67.969 million in turnover, up 26.4 percent against a year before, while the company's profit fell 18.3 percent to EUR 4.86 million.