River of plastic waste washes up in Bohemian Switzerland
via Facebook / NP České Švýcarsko

River of plastic waste washes up in Bohemian Switzerland

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting České Švýcarsko (Bohemian Switzerland), you’re unlikely to forget one of the most beautiful and majestic locations in the Czech Republic.

Unfortunately, recent visitors to the National Park may have also caught an eyeful of something else.

Last week, authorities from Bohemian Switzerland National Park posted to Facebook a series of photos displaying a river of plastic bottles, polystyrene boards, and other waste materials making their way through the location down the Kamenice River.

The Kamenice River, as the Facebook post notes, feeds into the Elbe at Bohemian Switzerland before moving through Germany and into the North Sea.

The images resemble small-scale versions of photos of the Great Pacific garbage patch, a island of waste floating in the Pacific that some estimate is as large as Russia in size.

In České Švýcarsko, the waste was cleaned up by volunteers in the Dolský mlýn area, who braved freezing weather on January 19 to fill up 10 large trash bags full with plastics bottled and other waste retrieved from the river.

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According to Bohemian Switzerland National Park spokesperson Tomáš Salov, the waste is a persistent problem that occurs during times of strong rainfall, when the river brings garbage from larger nearby towns through the park.

Tourists aren’t to blame in this case: according to Salov, the garbage is household waste that is likely left in unsecured containers and spread via high winds.

Lucas Němec

Prague-based author with two decades experience living in and writing about the Czech Republic for local and international sites and publications. Nakládaný hermelín enthusiast and frequent Club-Mate drinker.

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