“By the year 2050, there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish” was the very first thing SWIM shared. We all know that Lebanese coastlines and seas are polluted and were deemed unsafe this year! However, the SWIM team didn’t give up and decided to do something about it.
Lebanon’s beautiful environment has been neglected over the years by successive governments and now Lebanese citizens are suffering disastrous consequences. As the government continues to be careless about our seas and coastline, ignoring their safety and cleanings, it’s up to the people to take things back in hand… once again!
SWIM (Sustainable Waste Intercity Marathon) is a group of nature lovers who are determined to make the sea accessible to all through their great campaign, “The Sea is Yours”. SWIM’s main goal is to engage Lebanese communities in different regions in a collective effort to waste collection. They hope to create a positive chain of reaction inciting locals to proactively save the Lebanese sea from pollution, thus keeping the environment clean.
Before going fullscale, SWIM tested the idea in January 2019 by organizing a waste collection day on the beachfront of Amchit. You’d be surprised to know that they collected 200Kgs of plastic in just 2 hours! This pleasant and productive experience encouraged them to aim for the bigger ambition, cleaning the entire coastline of Lebanon.
The initiative was launched on August 21at starting from the southern coastline of Lebanon in Naqoura, passing by Tyre, Sidon, and Beirut all the way to the northern coastline in Byblos, Batroun, and Chekka including Rabbits Island. The event was supported by amazing professional swimmers, divers, event managers, education influencers, and designers and it attracted a large number of mindful Lebanese citizens that helped in the cleaning process. Thus the initiative covered around 5km of coastline a day!
The campaign lasted 7 weeks and received a lot of positive feedback along with a large number of participants from swimmers and volunteers. The initiative successfully added the sense of responsibility that SWIM aimed to spread for sustainable changes and eco-friendly practices.
It is interesting to see that Lebanese are aiming for a better and cleaner country, despite the ongoing severe crises hitting them. We are ever so grateful for SWIM and all those who volunteered to make Lebanon’s coastline spotless and thank them from the bottom of our hearts for the positive change they aspire for.
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