More than 200 volunteers, split into 30 groups, turned out for the recent "Grouss Botz" (Great Cleaning - a tradition to which inhabitants and associations of many Luxembourg municipalities have been participating for several decades) which was held this year under COVID-19 restrictions.
Cancelled last year, the 2021 COVID-special edition was a huge success: this year, instead of the traditional collaborative meeting, the groups went separately and were spread over two weeks to hunt for rubbish, from 20 March to 4 April. the numbers participating this year were a record for Mamer.
The Mamer event was organised by the municipality, its Energy and Environment Commission and the Environment, Energy and Mobility Service (SEEM).
Among the participants were a kindergarten class, several political parties, the Mamer Youth Centre as well as the scouts and, of course, families and groups of friends.
The list of garbage collected was impressive: in total, half a ton of waste was removed from along the roads and paths, starting with all kinds of packaging to car tyres, including wood, metal and plastic bags.
Unfortunately, the Grands Nettoyages, which are organised annually in most Luxembourg municipalities, have become necessary because of the distressing phenomenon of littering.
Getting rid of your waste in nature seems like a trivial gesture, but it is not without consequences. Waste items remain there for a long time, sometimes even thousands of years, and pollute natural environments before finally degrading ... or being eaten by animals. The oceans are suffering from the invasion of plastic waste. A plastic bag takes 450 years before being degraded (into microparticles), a can (aluminum or steel) or a tyre up to 100 years. Glass degradation is estimated to be around 5,000 years. A cigarette butt or chewing gum will have a lifespan in nature of up to five years. Waste, apart from contaminating nature, also contributes to polluting soil, water or poses a threat to biodiversity.
Consequently, the municipality of Mamer is calling on residents to limit their waste and not to thrown it into nature. In addition to tainting the environment and being faithful to the "polluter pays" principle, the offender also risks a severe fine if caught in the act...