The Italian government is finally stepping in to recover 60 tons of compressed non-recyclable garbage that have been sitting at the bottom of the Tyrrhenian Sea for five years.
The 56 ‘eco-bales’ have been contaminating the waters off the Gulf of Follonica in Tuscany since 2015. The Ivy, a cargo ship carrying tons of urban waste to an incinerator in Bulgaria, lost part of its load leaving the harbor of Piombino.
The incident wasn’t immediately declared by the Ivy’s captain, who has since disappeared, but was only discovered when the ship arrived at its destination and the 56 eco-bales were found to be missing from the initial load of 1,888.
Only this year was the environmental emergency addressed fully by the Italian government.
Since they plunged into the sea, 18 of the original 56 eco-bales have either become entangled in fishermen’s nets or washed ashore and disintegrated, contaminating the water, threatening wildlife and fishermen’s livelihoods.