Albania’s garbage problem affects its neighbors—and EU aspirations / Problemi i mbeturinave në Shqipëri prek fqinjët e saj dhe aspiratat e BE

Litter brought to shore from Albania’s rivers washed up hundreds of miles north in the port of Dubrovnik, Croatia—and environmental activists aren’t surprised.

During Albania’s half-century long communist rule, its Stalinist dictator Enver Hoxha, fearing an invasion from the west, lined the country’s coast with thousands of mushroom-shaped bunkers. The invasion never came. But now Albania’s shorelines face a new threat from waste.

The sandy beach of the Cape of Rodon along the Adriatic coast in central Albania is covered with garbage. Plastic bottles, spray cans and all kinds of household waste have washed ashore, brought downstream by rivers and streams after heavy rainfall during the last few weeks.

Litter brought to shore from Albania’s rivers reportedly washed up hundreds of miles north in the port of Dubrovnik in Croatia. According to local media, more than 50 cubic metres of rubbish was scooped from the Old City’s harbor, which is a popular tourist destination.

Back in Tirana, environmentalists are not surprised. They explain that a lack of proper waste management policies in Albania spells danger for the Adriatic coast and that of its neighbors.

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