Tons of waste wash up on beaches in Brazil’s Northeast

Dozens of tons of solid waste have been cleared from a series of beaches in Paraíba and Rio Grande do Norte. Authorities have yet to ascertain a cause

Northeast waste beach
40 tons of urban waste were collected from two beaches. Photo: Tribo Bahia Ambiental/Div.

In August 2019, large stains of crude oil appeared off the coast of Brazil’s Northeast region. Soon after, they spread to 1,009 locations in 11 states. Faced with the inactivity of the federal government, volunteers decided to take it upon themselves to clean beaches and save beached marine life, putting their own health at risk. Meanwhile, without any concrete evidence, President Jair Bolsonaro and his advisors blamed the oil spill on the Venezuelan government. The administration went as far as suggesting that President Nicolás Maduro may have spilled the oil on purpose to harm Mr. Bolsonaro’s international image.

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