Destroying the Beauty – Spain and the Litter Obsession

Is there really a need to pollute beautiful places such as Lake Vinuela with non-bio-degradable rubbish?


Before I go any further I must stress that Spain and its people are not unique in destroying or damaging beautiful places that should be cherished. This is also not the first time I’ve written about my excitement at finding a stunning location, only to find it tarnished by needless littering and worse.

I have visited some incredible looking beaches only to find their shorelines littered with paper, cans, food wrappers and broken glass; all of which could so easily be avoided if people took just a little more care. There are bins which are regularly emptied so there is really no need or excuse for any of the mess. It’s just pure disrespect and laziness.

My visit to Lake Caspe where it meets the Rio Ebro was ruined by water pollution, illegal overfishing and excessive litter. The place had been turned into a landfill site that nobody had remember to cover. You can read about it here.

More recently I visited the beautiful Lake Vinuela in Andalucia and for the most part it was very clean. The locals use the lake, which is made of catch water, as their supply but there is still a sense that some are ‘shitting in their own back yards’. At the picnic end (south) where a collection of bins were in place there was still excessive littering and further round I found an old mattress, parts from cars and even mechanical items which looked to have come from a factory.

Lake Vinuela, Rio Ebro and other great waterways are so polluted by human waste.

Lake Vinuela, Rio Ebro and other great waterways are so polluted by human waste.

The lack of respect shown to the environment, not just in Spain but everywhere I’ve visited, is staggering, saddening and unforgivable. There is no excuse for such a blatant disregard of the beauty and resources that nature provides, especially when local authorities work so hard to provide ways of dealing with human waste.

I would ask that if you follow our guides and visit any of these wonderful locations, or any others that you discover yourself, please lead by example and leave places in a better state than you found them, that way we can lead new generations into a better world with a better outlook and greater respect for this earth we all temporarily walk upon.

Take a look at Lake Vinuela’s pretty side and ugly side or read about the wild camp there.

Please leave your comments in the box below and your litter in the trash can. On your way out you could spark up a conversation about the environment on our forums by clicking here.

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