Using geolocation technology, Lanzarote environmental group Papacría has tracked some 800 illegal dumping grounds across the length and breadth of the island. Not only does fly-tipping damage the landscape, but it also threatens Lanzarote’s status as a Biosphere Reserve, enjoyed since 1993. Other environmental organisations on the island are also joining the fight against these visual eyesores.
In 2017, Papacría began a campaign targeted at schools to raise awareness about the effects of dumping litter and rubbish in natural spaces. The collective’s spokesperson, José Goñi, explained, “It marked a shift in our approach; instead of cleaning up, we decided to put a spotlight on the problem and shock people into action with hard-to-ignore images.” He also points out, “As well as being a wake-up call for local authorities, who should be implementing sanctions rather than simply ordering clean-up operations, it’s also about getting kids on board so they nudge their family and friends to help put an end to this antisocial behaviour.
Thanks to the Papacría app’ and the ‘keep your rubbish to yourself campaign’, almost 50% more dumps have been brought to light than in 2020…but the number is still growing. In February, students from Zonzamas Further Education College studying Environmental Education and Control reported an increasing number of illegal rubbish dumps on the outskirts of Arrecife. You too can report fly-tipping by sending a photo and location to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.