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Israeli nature lovers clean beaches, rivers

Israeli activists are rolling up their sleeves to clean nature, launching initiatives at nature reserves, parks, beaches and rivers.
Black kites sit on a tree with plastic bags clinged to it after a storm near the Dudaim dump in Israels Negev desert near the Bedouin city Rahat on January 20, 2019. - Israelis use approximately 2.7 billion plastic bags a year, which constitute 25 percent of the countrys trash volume. Since 2017 supermarkets charge a small price for the bags, following legislation aimed at diminishing their excessive use. (Photo by MENAHEM KAHANA / AFP)        (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)

Israelis spent this Sukkoth holiday confined at home. No partying on beaches, no picnics in parks, no swimming in rivers. While many regretted deeply not being able to go out, some Israelis were happy, as it meant nature was spared all the trash during this holiday week. Still, they fear that once the lockdown ends, and if the weather stays as warm and dry as it is now, Israelis will flock again outdoors, and bring along their rubbish.

Evidently, this phenomenon of trashing nature is not new to Israel. But it seems that the coronavirus pandemic has considerably amplified it. After the first lockdown in March, thousands of Israelis went out to visit every possible nature reserve, stream or trail. With the pandemic still raging, they could not fly abroad, so they opted for vacation at home, in Israel.

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