Sea ‘regurgitates trash’ to cover Lebanon beach

Credit : JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)


A beach in Lebanon has been enveloped in huge piles of rubbish after a storm blew in waste reaching 100ft inland.

The majority of the sand on Zouq Mosbeh beach, just north of Beirut, has been hidden under piles of plastic waste, footwear, tyres and cattle bones.

The rubbish was dumped on to the previously idyllic beach during a storm on Sunday night.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri ordered an immediate clean-up but authorities say they may have to wait for another storm to pass, as that will bring more waste.

Lebanon has a severe rubbish problem
Image:Lebanon has a severe rubbish problem
Environmentalists have started cleaning up the beach
Image:Much of the country’s waste is dumped in the sea

Environmentalists attempting to clear the rubbish said they were not surprised by the amount.

“The sea is regurgitating our trash,” said Joslin Kehdy, head of NGO Recycle Lebanon, which organises an annual clean-up of Zouq Mosbeh beach.

Lebanon has long had a serious rubbish problem. It has become the most contentious issue among what campaigners say are the government’s many failings to provide basic services.

Lebanon's Zouq Mosbeh has been covered in rubbish
Image:It is feared another storm will bring more rubbish from the sea

Environmental groups say officials are cashing in on underhand deals for landfills and incinerators.

Heavy machinery has been pouring rubbish into the Mediterranean at a land reclamation site at Dbayeh, east of Beirut, since 2017.

Much of Lebanon's waste is dumped in the sea
Image:Environmentalists are working to clean up the beach

However, officials say they are doing nothing wrong and the landfills are up to technical specifications.

The pollution has become so problematic that Sami Gemayel, leader of Lebanon’s Kataeb party, has said he will take the government to international court.

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