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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Volunteers rid Polish mountains of rubbish dumped by tourists

03.08.2021 22:30
Volunteers from across Poland have gathered in Zakopane, the country’s most popular mountain resort, to clean up its surroundings as part of the annual "Clean Tatra Mountains" initiative.
Audio
Mount Giewont in Polands southern Tatra mountains. Photo: Opioła Jerzy, GFDL (http:www.gnu.orgcopyleftfdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http:creativecommons.orglicensesby-sa3.0)
Mount Giewont in Poland's southern Tatra mountains. Photo: Opioła Jerzy, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)via Wikimedia Commons

Around 4,000 volunteers descended on the Tatra Mountains at the weekend to clean the area's trails, slopes and forests of some 600 kg of rubbish left by tourists.

The event was organized by the Czyste Tatry (Clean Tatra Mountains) group, part of the "Clean Poland" Association, which has been spearheading such cleanups in Poland’s southern Podhale region since 2012.

This year the organizers decided to change tactics and instead of picking up litter before the tourist season, they decided to do so at its height.

Jan Krzeptowski-Sabała, from the Tatra National Park’s education department, said that the campaign yields results every year, but a lot still remains to be done to effectively clean the Tatras of the rubbish left there by tourists.

He also said that tourists throw away “all kinds of things” from plastic bottles to foil bags to tins.

“Practically everything is dumped as tourists traverse the mountain tracks, including candy wrappers and foil sandwich packaging, often with the remains of the sandwiches," Krzeptowski-Sabała said.

“Such smelly waste attracts wild animals,” he added.

Radio Poland's Agnieszka Bielawska has the story.

Click on the audio player above to listen.