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Take part in Adriatic Heroes Day with your Association or Group

The issue

Plastic pollution is a major environmental issue that human beings are facing, both due to its severity and its detrimental effects on marine ecosystems. In the last decades the production and consumption of plastic have increased exponentially and has caused pollution in land as well as out at sea. Furthermore, the Mediterranean Sea is among one of the most polluted basins from plastics and micro-plastics.

“..it (the Mediterranean Sea) has become the most polluted Sea in the world but we have the means to save it, nevertheless we have to act now”.

Manu San Felix, biologo marino, National Geographic

The Mediterranean Sea can be divided in three sub-regions

    1. Adriatic Sea 

    1. Western Mediterranean 

    1. Ionian and Central Mediterranean

Between the three, the Adriatic Sea is the most polluted one, hosting the largest number of marine litter (nearly 800 pieces) every 100m of beach (Source: Inspra/Arpa costiere). This result is due to the presence of 5 among 10000 most polluted rivers in the world (Source: The Ocean Cleanup) among which we find the Po river.


Tons of plastic that flows at sea every year


of turtles have swallowed plastics in the Mediterranean


tons of waste removed from 2hands Organization in 2021

Damages to human health

A wide range of plastic materials end up in the ocean. In particular, the polystyrene, which breaks in smaller pieces and its components sank at sea, can impact all the marine ecosystem, affecting the food chain. In fact, plastics not only released toxic chemicals in the water, but also act as sponges by absorbing other toxins before entering the marine environment. These chemical substances are swallowed by marine animals which in turn we assimilate when we eat fish. The direct toxicity of plastic comes from lead, cadmium, and mercury. Furthermore, the diethylhexyl phthalane (DEHP) found in some plastics, it is a toxic carcinogenic. Other toxins found in plastics are directly connected to cancer, bon defects, immunitary system problems and child development issues. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is another toxin found in plastics which is commonly used to make plastic bottle caps and packaging. With time, BPA polyme chains can break and enter human body through water or fish. Moreover, BPA interferes with human hormonal function.

2hands 2021 efforts

In 2021, 2hands Organization through its 4 offices located on the Adriatic coast removed 13,120 kg of waste from the coasts and the sea thanks to 80 targeted cleanup interventions carried out by over 1000 volunteers. Thanks to the establishment of the Adriatic Heroes Day, in October, we also involved 33 associations along the Adriatic coast and more than 500 volunteers in a single day.

2022 – the mission

In 2022, through Operation Adriatic Heores, thanks to the help of thousands of volunteers on the Italian territory, we set ourselves the goal for 2022 to remove as many as 20,000 kg of waste from the sea and coast. This action campaign will be carried out through 70 cleanup interventions aimed at removing as much waste as possible from the sea, also with the help of boats, sup, surfers, divers and all marine technologies at our disposal to make the Adriatic a cleaner sea. We will also set up more Adriatic Heroes Days, national days in which we will involve over 50 associations on the Adriatic coast to raise awareness among the population involved and reclaim highly polluted areas. Thanks to these events we would like to involve more than 2000 volunteers in a single day, side by side, to fight against pollution.

Support Adriatic Heroes

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