NewsSardinia's sand theft crackdown: Tourists fined for beach souvenirs

Sardinia's sand theft crackdown: Tourists fined for beach souvenirs

Germans caught trying to take sand. This island does not tolerate it.
Germans caught trying to take sand. This island does not tolerate it.
Images source: © Adobe Stock
Adam Sieńko

9 July 2024 07:43

Although the Sardinian authorities have been informing tourists for years about the ban on taking sand, pebbles, and shells from the beach, there is no shortage of people wanting such souvenirs. The authorities regularly detain travellers smuggling beach souvenirs from the island.

In recent days, reports from PAP have reported that tourists from Italy and Germany were detained at the port in Olbia, from where they were leaving Sardinia by ferry with suitcases full of sand.

German tourists hid "souvenirs" from Sardinia in a camper they intended to sail to Genoa. The customs agency confiscated all the material.

Sardinia banned the removal of sand

With the arrival of the holiday season in Sardinia, the phenomenon of taking sand, shells, and pebbles from the beach intensifies. On the Italian island, this is prohibited and severely punished as theft, and airport and port authorities confiscate these "souvenirs."

In many towns, signs inform about the regulations in force in Sardinia since 2017. A wide campaign is also being carried out. However, as the media and environmentalists admit, it is not practical.

According to established practice, sand, shells, and stones are returned to the beaches, and their exact origin is often determined. This initiative involves an association called Sardinia Plundered and Robbed.

According to local authorities, the theft of beach sand leads to its disappearance, which can hurt the natural environment. Besides, beaches are the main reason tourists from all over the world visit the Italian island. Tourists treat the stolen sand from Sardinia as a holiday souvenir. Some also put bottles of sand up for auction online.

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