CASE Construction Equipment has played an essential role in the innovative Beach Care Project, an environmentally-friendly, coastal clean-up initiative directly involving more than 400 students and delivering educational kits to more than 10,000 school children across Italy, France, Spain and the UK.
The project, which resulted in the cleaning and ecological maintenance of beaches across Europe, was centred on education and awareness. It involved collaboration with leading academic and scientific institutions including the Italian Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR), the French Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and Spain’s Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas (CSIC).
Commencing in 2020, after an Italian television documentary La Natura che parla (Nature Speaks), the first beaches to benefit from the project were at Rovigliano, in Campania, Italy, around the mouth of the Sarno river. The project was then expanded in 2021, to take in Carini Beach in Sicily, where 2-tonnes of mainly plastic waste was removed and at Foce Varano in Apulia, where 2.5-tonnes of waste were collected.
On to the Cote d’Azur in France the activity involved ecological management of the Banquette of Posidonia Oceanica, a seagrass species that is vital for the marine ecosystem. Further sites were developed in Tarragona in Spain and the project was part of the Posidonia Green Festival in Barcelona. While many of the initial locations were city beaches, the final site to benefit from the project’s work was a river mouth at Thorney Bay Beach, on Canvey Island in the UK.
Working with parent company CNH Industrial, CASE Construction Equipment supplied a range of machines, including a 621G wheel loader and a TV370B compact tracked loader to the projects. The machines were used to collect and load plastic waste from the sand on the beaches, preventing it being washed into the sea. This plastic was analysed by CNR and CNRS, before being recycled into educational toys, contributing to a circular waste economy.
“At CNH Industrial, sustainability informs everything that we do,” said Daniela Ropolo, Head of Sustainable Development Initiatives. “Through this important international project, we are promoting the protection of the environment across generations. Its impact is getting bigger and bigger with each country we visit.”
Overall, the Beach Care Project has involved thousands of school children across Europe. Around 400 students have taken part in the actual cleaning projects, with 10,000 school children provided with educational materials to help them learn about beach ecosystems.
“CASE and its partners are cleaning beaches to give them back to the community, completing leading edge academic research, educating and promoting responsible values among younger generations, and fostering interest and engagement in environmental protection and care,” said Federico Bullo, Head of Europe Construction Equipment CNH Industrial.
“Since 2021, over 10,000 children learned about beach ecosystems, as the Beach Care Project was rolled out in schools, with educational materials and dedicated lessons.”
Barry Campagna, Chairman of Canvey Bay Watch, one of the local organisations behind the UK site added: “When the beach is clean, people show it more care and respect. Our efforts make people further appreciate the marine environment. It also enables other opportunities for local children to learn about the positive ecological impact they can make. CASE’s machinery certainly makes our work easier.”