Garbage, The New Issue On Cancun Beaches

Garbage, The New Issue On Cancun Beaches

When the Sargassum algae population is at its lowest level since the beginning of the season, the administration now has another problem to deal with: garbage.

Although there are fewer tourists in Cancun during the fall season, the beaches are even dirtier after a summer of packed hotels and exorbitant rates.

While litter on the beaches is usually due to tourists disrespecting their surroundings or ill-mannered locals who should know better, the problem in Cancun can not be blamed on either.

Here is a look at the state of the sand, the cause of the unpleasant debris, and the measures being taken to address the trash problem as the issues plaguing Cancun’s beaches shift from one point to another.

Although some of these beaches are hailed as the best in the region, the Directorate of Federal Maritime Terrestrial Zones reports that just seven beaches produced a total of 34.91 tons of solid waste: Del Nio, Las Perlas, Marlin, Chac Mool, Gaviota Azul, Delfines and Nizuc Playa Coral. This makes these beaches far less attractive as vacation destinations.

workers collecting trash on cancun beach

Sargassum was generally safe for visitors, but rubbish is another matter. These beaches have been discovered to have glass under the sand, which might seriously harm swimmers and sunbathers alike in addition to environmentally harmful plastic trash.

Cancun has a number of Blue Flag beaches, but since environmental sustainability and cleanliness are crucial to earning the distinction, it may soon lose them.

Sargassum has been blamed for much of the trash that ends up on beaches. Some 180 full-time employees are responsible for maintaining the attractiveness of the beaches during the high season. 

The hotels, government, and environmental agencies have worked diligently together to rid the beaches of unwanted flotsam. However, it seems that they are currently facing a problem that is overwhelming them.

The uncared-for state of the beaches has in the past led to some visitors refusing to pay the lodging tax, tourist tax, and sewage fee that are collected by the municipality of Quintana Roo to keep the beaches clean.

Allowing litter to accumulate on the beaches in such large quantities could become a trend that exacerbates the situation. The government faces the difficult task of providing clean, beautiful Cancun beaches that tourists expect given the large number of visitors expected during the winter vacation season.