Plastic pollution in the ocean as storm sewers vomit onto Jaffa beach

Jaffa plastics waste, storm sewer after rain, beach waste

After the rains in Tel Aviv, storm sewers drain to the sea bringing piles of plastic trash with them.

It’s where kids surf, puppies play, people meditate and the best place in Tel Aviv for a morning walk. But Wednesday afternoon, after the rains, a Jaffa resident took a photo of plastics washing up on a Jaffa shore. The storm sewer was openly washing onto the sea bringing with it a mass of oily pollution and plastic bits that have built up over the city during the last 6 months or more since it last rained.

Photos and videos are courtesy of the surfer Mark Cook.


Karmi Soder, Cook’s wife, a resident of Jaffa sent us these images and the video Cook took. She did update us that a day after complaints were made the city had come to clean up the sea. “The municipality came yesterday and picked up all of the trash on the beach and we went paddling this morning and picked up more in the sea!” Karmi tells us. 

What kind of plastic pollution is in the ocean

But what about the toxic oils and pollution? Who is monitoring whether it’s safe or not for residents to swim, surf or even paddle?

storm sewers open after rain, Jaffa beach, Tel Aviv, Israel, plastic on the sea

Storm sewers carry piles of plastic and what looks like oil after the rains, Jaffa, Israel

And the bigger question – How can we solve the plastics problem? was a question that came up in a Jaffa chatgroup called Friends of Jaffa.

Some thought about putting a strainer on the storm sewers to collect the plastic before it goes to shore. Another mentioned upgrading the pipes and sewage system.

no plastic protest sign in plastic, Jordan

No plastics, drone image, Lebanon above the sea 

Some mentioned the problems with recycling (most plastics in the US aren’t actually recycled) and others talked about simply reducing plastic use from the source. Lastly another mentioned the problems with buying fast fashion like clothes from Shein. 

If we buy less plastic bottles and plastic packaging in food. If we don’t support fast fashion. All these add up to less plastic in mother’s breast milk, less plastic in our lungs and less people dying at the mercy of plastic. Read the story about the man who died in Lebanon because of a plastic bag?

Want to get involved in the Mediterranean? Contact EcoOcean. They are the leading environmental group working to save our seas. Their website is here.


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