Saturday, 21 May 2016


Yesterday I took myself off for a walk  along the CAI300 trail from Nerano to Monte San Costanzo.
It was a bright, sunny morning and as I came out of the woods and into the open , not only were the views down to Marina del Cantone and over the Amalfi coast as amazing as usual, but everywhere was bright with colour. Pink and white cistus flowers, yellow, sweet smelling gorse and purple thistles lined the path and covered the hillside.I continued along my way, stopping here and there to take photographs, trying to convince the butterflies to stay still long enough to immortalise them. All was good.
My crop of plastic red ribbons
Then the red and white plastic ribbons started to appear, tied to strategically located branches along the track, flapping in the wind. Believe me, red and white plastic does not look good in the midst of such natural beauty. Evidently these were an unpleasant legacy of the Jeranto-Campanella Trail race held nearly 2 weeks ago.
Quite frankly this is not the first time that such a race has been organised, leaving behind  a nasty reminder for anyone else following that route. Just a week ago, Giovanni Visetti had already reported finding (and removing) a multitude of ribbons along a different stretch of the same race. Surely the organisers should be responsible and accountable for leaving the area ribbon-free once the race is over? Is it so difficult to arrange for a couple of people to walk the route behind the last participant, removing them as they go? How many times have we heard that they will be removed "later", or "the next day" or "in a few days' time", but this never seems to happen, or if it does, it is partial and very rarely complete. Why not do it straight away, or at the latest the following day, but taking care to follow the entire route of the race from start to finish?
As far as I can tell, the plastic ribbons are not biodegradable and will be there forever unless the wind tears them from the branches and deposits them further afield, which of course does not  resolve the problem, just moves it elsewhere.
You may say "what do a few plastic ribbons matter?". However it is not only a question of protecting the planet (every little counts), but also a matter of courtesy. I for one would not walk through someone's garden leaving my rubbish behind.

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