Abragciems and Engure beaches have been identified as the cleanest of this year, while the dirtiest ones are Kolka and Daugavgrīva.
Most of the pollution found on Kolka beach was coal. Ulme stressed that this should be assessed as an emergency.
“There is conflicting information about whether coal is from historic sources that continue to be washed off the sea or whether legislation is being circumvented and coal is still being transported in an open way,” the expert said.
Overall, the amount of waste on the beaches has been record high this year, with an average of 254 waste units detected in 100 coastal meters.
This year's data can be explained by the fact that, with a limited possibility of travelling, people chose to rest by the sea here in Latvia. However, over a longer period, waste volumes have tended to grow over the past four years.
Most beaches have plastic pieces that can no longer be identified. Often, the coast is contaminated with bottle caps, cigarette butts and foam pieces.
“Management measures alone cannot achieve cleanliness, as the increased use of packaging and discarding requires other solutions, not only a higher number of waste containers,” said Ulme, noting that one of the solutions could be to limit certain types of plastic packaging.
The “Mana jūra” campaign, for nine years, aims to bring together Latvian society - residents, municipalities, businessmen - in joint efforts to protect the coast and the Baltic Sea.