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Local Beach, Global Garbage

Not only does Brazilian Fabiano Barretto relentlessly fight the marine litter polluting the beautiful bays of his home state Bahia. He also takes a stand for his compatriots on the coast to profit from the growing tourism. In 2011, he was awarded for his commitment with the “Green Palm Tree” by GEO Saison Magazine. And the project work continues also this year.


The award to Fabiano Prado Barretto acknowledges his social and ecologic commitment on the beaches of Brazil. Barretto, who is 39 years old and living in Hamburg, is co-founder of the association “Local Beach, Global Garbage” based in Hamburg, which combats garbage and proves that much can be achieved.


“Soon it became clear to me that it will always be a Sisyphean task if we just collect the dirt”, says the activist. “We need to avoid garbage. This is why our awareness raising work with port authorities, shipping companies but also with seamen is so important.” In addition, problems such as poverty, lack of knowledge or child prostitution are encountered on the coast of Bahia. “We cannot just focus on the garbage. We also have to take care of the people.”


Marine litter and public relations

Also in 2011, the focus of LBGG’s work was public relations and in particular spreading information on the topic of marine litter. In this context, some interesting TV reports and press articles were published, e.g. the report “Foreign cargo vessels bring garbage to Brazilian ports”, which was shown both by TV Senado and TV Camara Salvador. It features the impacts of garbage on the environment, public health, fishing, economy and tourism.


Various magazines in Brazil have taken up the topic and published articles of several pages. For example, Conexão Marítima magazine brought the title “Disrespect for the oceans: lack of surveillance and environmental responsibility contribute to pollution of the oceans”. Zero Hora newspaper quotes, in one of its article Fábio Lameiro Rodrigues, member of our Scientific Committee. Originally, he had written an article for our website. This was read by editors of the newspaper (the most important in the federal state of Rio Grande do Sul), who then made an interview with him. Estuaries and Coasts, a scientific magazine, brought an article by authors Juliana and Isaac written on the basis of the data collected in 2005, when they were also members of our Scientific Committee.


We also published on our website articles that we translated from English into Portuguese because we regarded their contents as highly important. These were then also published by many other websites in Portuguese language.


Scientific Committee

Since the beginning of 2011, a committee of seven members has been established, consisting also of students. All Masters Students are writing their theses on the topic of marine litter. The members of the Scientific Committee are the authors of the articles that are published on our website, but they also write for other websites (e.g. Ethical Markets). Furthermore, they act as contact partners for the press, answer enquiries by journalists and students and give interviews.


The members Gustavo and Sérgio will conclude their Masters Degrees this semester and start their dissertations on marine litter next semester. The topic of Sérgio’s dissertation is marine litter on Costa dos Coqueiros. For this purpose, he has been collecting garbage from September 2010 to August 2011 together with the Captains of the Sand in order to collect data for his dissertation.


Formation of working groups

A new project that was started this year is the working groups composed of members of our mailing lists. In particular, there are the following working groups on

  • Collecting all publications on the topic of marine litter in Brazil;
  • Analysis of public politics on this topic;
  • Examination of situation in ports;
  • Development of a uniform methodology to be applied in all of Brazil to survey the garbage that is floating, buried or washed ashore.


Further groups are dealing with the implementation of the results, e.g. one group is preparing educational material for public relations work; one group is preparing didactic material for teachers. Most of the working group members are students, doctoral and postdoctoral students who do research in this area. Furthermore, we are carrying out a survey on the expenses spent by municipalities for cleaning and for environmental campaigns during the summer of 2011/12. The objective is to show that a lot of money spent for cleaning can be saved if more money is spent for education and awareness-raising.


Brazilian Marine Litter Monitoring Program

Within this year we managed to create a network of people and organizations that will monitor marine litter starting in April 2012. There is at least one person/organization for each federal state of Brazil.


Congresso Latino-Americano de Ciências do Mar – COLACMAR 2011

The Latin American Congress on Marine Sciences took place from 31 October to 4 November 2011. Out of 29 papers on the topic of marine litter, 27 were from Brazil and one each from Portugal and Colombia. Of these 27 papers, eleven were written by members of our Scientific Committee: nine from Bahia and one each from São Paulo and Rio Grande do Sul. A big success for LBGG in 2011 was the adoption of a legislative norm, ruling that the disposal of garbage from vessels must be regulated and checked. This is supposed to close a legal loophole regarding the disposal of garbage from vessels. The title of the norm is: Resolução N° 2.190 dated 28 July 2011.


The Cultural Center which had been established in the village of Diogo has received further support from us. We paid their Internet access, and same we did in the village of Baixio. There the computer with the Internet access is located in the house of the Association of Artisans and Sweets Manufacturers of Baixio.


The action “Fundo da Folia”, which was about beer cans on the bottom of the sea in Salvador, was continued. The beer cans were photographed and registered to get attention for the topic all over the year and not only during carnival. The topic “Fundo da Folia” has received great repercussion on the social network Twitter.




Project partner:

Local Beach, Global Garbage

Verein zur Bekämpfung der Meeresverschmutzung e.V.

Fabiano und Eva Barretto

Süllbergsterrasse 56

22587 Hamburg