Sand stolen by tourists visiting Sardinia returned to beaches, fines of between €500 to €3,000 for culprits

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Italian authorities and environmental experts have teamed up with Olbia Airport in Sardinia to return sand, pebbles and shells confiscated from tourists’ luggage to beaches on Sardinia’s famed ‘Emerald Coast’.

Visitors have been known to help themselves to handfuls of the fine white sand that have made the island’s north-east coast a favourite with holiday-makers, resulting in the loss of tonnes of sand each year.

Authorities at Olbia Airport carry out systematic bag checks to catch passengers smuggling sand, an offence punishable by fines of between €500 to €3,000. Over the past ten years they seized some 10 tonnes, most of it collected in half-litre bottles, according to the director of a marine reserve off Sardinia’s north-eastern coast.

Airport agents confiscated around 2 tonnes of stolen sand a year, according to local news site Gallura Oggi, while another 500 kilos were seized last summer from ferry passengers at the port of Olbia, where checks are less strict.

 

Via The Local / Gallura Oggi

 

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