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Is cleaning Lebanon’s shores enough to solve waste crisis?

Hundreds of volunteers took part in a campaign launched by the Ministry of Environment to clean Lebanon's shoreline, but some say this is a cosmetic move that will not come close to solving the country's endemic waste problem.
Volunteers take part in cleaning a public beach in the Lebanese capital Beirut's Ramlet al-Baida neighbourhood on September 15, 2018, during International Coastal Clean-Up Day. (Photo by ANWAR AMRO / AFP)        (Photo credit should read ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)
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BEIRUT — On June 9, a national campaign was set in motion to clean up the Lebanese coast and sea, from the south to the north, with the participation of a large number of volunteers and some local associations.

The campaign was launched by Minister of Environment Fady Jreissati during a press conference held at the Ministry of Environment on June 3. The ministry identified 120 sites to be cleaned up under the Save Our Face campaign.

Jreissati said the campaign aims to “raise awareness among beachgoers of the importance of not littering and realize the environmental impact on our economy.” He added, “We also want to let the countries in the Mediterranean Basin know that Lebanon is responsible, and this is why we chose #SaveOurFace to represent this campaign. I assure you we will save our face and improve our reputation.”

“The campaign aims to educate people as well as institutions. It will also include cleaning the bottom of the sea, not just the shore,” said Jreissati adviser Joseph Asmar

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