We are still in shock…

Residents came together on Saturday, February 19 to help clean up Dubai beaches after a spillage of large amounts of microplastics flooded the sand from the ocean.

Surfers and beachgoers frantically worked together to remove the bags from the ocean as well as filter and scoop away the spillage from the shore. The source of the spillage is currently unknown, but Dubai Municipality is working hard to uncover the source.

Here is everything we know so far…

plastic spill dubai beaches

On Saturday afternoon, Dubai’s Sunset Beach and Black Palace Beach saw the consequences of an unknown spillage of microplastics.

Bags of virgin-grade high-density Polyethene granules were directly recovered from the ocean and carried to shore by beachgoers and surfers.

The shoreline however did not go unscathed, with a sheet of small plastic balls littering the beaches. The source of this spillage is currently unknown, with theories suggesting it was a shipment spillage.

The spillage inspired a flurry of beachgoers, surfers, and the beach community to come together to remove the plastics from the water and the shoreline.

Pirates Surf Rescue Dubai, a watersport and lifestyle program for children, took the reigns on the beach clean, organising a mass cohort of families and individuals to remove all the plastics from the sand. Another volunteer-run-not-for-profit entity called Azraq, which focuses on the defence and conservation of marine life, was also there trying to collect as many pellets as possible, as well as the following day to support the Dubai Municipality.

By posting on their social media and calling upon their loyal following, individuals took to utilising sieves and scoops to separate the microplastics from the sand. Dubai Municipality also arrived on the scene, aiding the mass beach cleanup with more individuals and resources.

plastic spill dubai beaches

The recovered bags contained the raw materials for making everyday plastic items. Microplastics are a significant concern for marine life and its surrounding environment, being very damaging to organisms and ecosystems. Microplastics entering marine ecosystems are also in turn harmful to humans, as we ingest them through the consumption of fish, which brings harmful toxins into our bodies.

Despite the tragedy of the plastic spill, it’s heartwarming to see individuals, especially little ones, come together on such short notice to preserve Dubai’s gorgeous and most treasured beaches. Teamwork truly makes the dream work.

Images: Instagram via @pirate.surf and @gblaksley