As the accompanying photo demostrates, discarded greenhouse plastic ends up in barrancos and even washed up onto beaches and rocks on the coast.
The plastic on a greenhouse lasts approximately three years and to cover a greenhouse occupying one hectare you need three tonnes of plastic.
Now, Carchuna has 538 hectares under plastic and Motril a little more at 612 hectares mainly in the Puntalón area… and it’s growing. In the last five years, the amount of land under plastic has doubled, meaning that 80 hectares a year are added.
Anyway, doing the Maths, that’s a total of 1,150 hectares at three tonnes per hectare… that’s 3,450 tonnes over three years, or if you prefer, 1,150 tonnes per year, logically.
Now, the majority is disposed of in the official manner through recycle plants, but not all of it, and therein lies the problemo!
For this reason, the Agricultura Department of the Junta is coordinating with volunteers from19 different municipalities a pilot scheme, Compromiso Blanco, for keeping an eye on plastic dumping.
The 19 municipalities are: Albuñol, Sorvilán, Polopos, Rubite, Gualchos, Lújar, Motril, Salobreña, Almuñécar, Villanueva de Mesía, Moraleda de Zafayona, Alhama de Granada, Arenas del Rey, Fornes, Jayena, Jatar, Cacín, Ventas de Zafarraya, Zafarraya and semi-independent coastal villages of Carchuna – Calahonda.
The Junta considers having the Town Halls in on the project as essential because they are closest to the problem, as well as knowing their own territory well.
The idea is that first the Town Halls will send out teams to inspect and document and then inform both the Junta and the property owners about their findings
Then the Junta, armed with the info, will send out the big-gun inspectors to whistle up some respect. Up till now the occasional Junta inspections have been hit and miss, but with the Town Halls handing over a possible hit list… well, it should be more effective.
Editorial comment: the immediate problem with this dual system is that Town Hall staff are normally very close to farmers – they’re all somebody’s cousin or other, so that perhaps certain inspections might not be ‘accurate’ or even carried out.
Lastly, Almuñécar doesn’t have any farming under plastic, so why are they included?
(News: Costa Tropical, Granada, Andalucia)