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Puliamo la Sella! 2024 dedicated to our cetacean friends, with WWF, returns to Cagliari on June 15, 2024

The coastal cleanup organized by the MEDSEA Foundation, Puliamo la Sella!, returns to Cagliari on June 15th 2024. This year's event, now in its sixth edition, will be a special edition dedicated to our cetacean friends, marine mammals that, like many other species, are severely threatened by marine plastic pollution. For the occasion, there will be an in-depth discussion on the topic by Laura Pintore, Marine Wildlife Expert at WWF Italy. The 2024 edition is sponsored by the RAS - Autonomous Region of Sardinia -, the Municipality of Cagliari, and the Regional Network for the Conservation of Marine Fauna, with the support from Tuttigiorni, Sardinian supermarkets committed to reducing plastic, and Motomar Sarda. Numerous local sports associations, both aquatic and otherwise, will provide equipment and expertise for the waste collection. Volunteers of Puliamo La Sella - athletes, citizens, families, and sometimes even tourists - will collect waste both at sea, where it poses a dangerous threat to marine life, and on land.


In Italy, over 150 cetaceans are stranded along the coasts (dead or dying shortly after) each year, according to data from the National Reference Center for Diagnostic Investigations on Stranded Marine Mammals (C.Re.Di.Ma.). 161 stranded specimens were recorded in 2022 (about twenty of which in Sardinia) and 157 in 2023.


"At the Mediterranean level, 75% of cetacean species are considered threatened, 12.5% are vulnerable, and only 25% are of lesser concern," confirms WWF Italy, which will speak on the topic on the morning of June 15th at Puliamo La Sella!. "This scenario highlights the urgent need for conservation measures to protect these iconic species from human impacts such as the risk of collisions with heavy maritime traffic, entanglement in fishing gear (bycatch), noise, plastic, and chemical pollution, and the effects of climate change." 

Marine pollution, in particular, represents one of the most severe threats. Plastics, chemicals, and industrial waste "contaminate" the seas, causing significant harm to the health of cetaceans. Ingesting plastic, entanglement in abandoned fishing nets, and exposure to toxic substances "can cause severe physical problems and compromise the animals' reproductive abilities." 


On one hand, effective measures are essential to reduce marine pollution, such as "regulating fishing activities and promoting sustainable practices," like reducing the use of single-use plastics in every field. On the other hand, recycling must be incentivized. Tuttigiorni, a supermarket partner for the sixth edition of Puliamo La Sella! and a reference point for Viale Poetto, has introduced the Coripet national network's eco-compactor - the first installed in Cagliari - to encourage the recycling of PET bottles in exchange for shopping vouchers. From June 2023 to May 2024, a total of 256,656 plastic bottles were collected, averaging 21,400 bottles per month, "demonstrating broad participation from citizens," according to the store. Additionally, the supermarket has introduced carts made from plastic recovered from the seas, biodegradable shopping bags, and durabags made entirely from recycled plastic. 


“Puliamo la Sella! is a fixed event in the city linked to the MEDSEA PlasticFreeMed campaign, which aims to reduce plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. This annual event in the city of Cagliari aims to promote respect for marine and coastal habitats," explains Piera Pala, president of the MEDSEA Foundation. "About 80% of the plastic found in the seas comes from inadequate waste management on land, mainly due to the limited capacity to reuse and recycle plastic materials. We are also working on other MEDSEA initiatives, such as Plastron, a new project funded by the Interreg Marittimo Italy-France 2021-2027 program, which involves the recovery of plastics from the coast (in the regions: Sardinia, Liguria, Tuscany, Corsica, and the French Riviera) and short-supply chain recycling using a 3D printer." 

The event will be held on June 15, 2024, at 9 AM at the Marina Piccola amphitheater in Cagliari. From Marina Piccola, volunteers will head to the sea, the beach along the first stops of Poetto, and the paths around the “Sella” to collect waste, coordinated by sports associations. The final meeting is scheduled at the amphitheater at around 11:40 AM for the traditional group photo with the load of waste and plastics recovered from the sea, before the waste is collected by the Municipality of Cagliari and De Vizia company. 

The event is open to everyone, individually, in pairs, with family, or in groups. More information can be found at In parallel, a “Kids Lab,” a creative recycling workshop conducted by environmental guides, including marine biologist Maria Pala, and specialized MEDSEA operators, will be held at the Windsurfing Club of Cagliari. 

Data from Unep, 2021 - UNEP Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution 



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