Beaches in Cancun have a good reputation for cleanliness, but at times this image can take a bit of a hit. All it takes is for a few careless or unbothered visitors/locals to leave garbage behind and create a negative situation for everybody else.
Not to mention the well-reported issues the destination has faced with sargassum over the past few years.
Thankfully, the situation is moving in the right direction on all fronts with new initiatives, as well as stricter enforcement of some older ones, promising to provide travelers with beaches as pristine as they’ve ever been.
The Green Patrol
A new initiative for Cancun, the patrulla verde aka the green patrol, is a strong step across the city to reinvent its image where cleanliness is concerned.
Far from being a token gesture, this new branch of local enforcement will concentrate completely on matters of cleanliness and sanitation, enforcing tough new laws in the destination that include hefty fines for littering, no matter how small the act.
Travelers will spot this new department in their white and green patrol cars with the name “patrulla verde” along the sides.
So, if you spot one of these vehicles or one of the officers patrolling the beach, make sure your garbage is dealt with, as they are under strict orders to enforce sanitation laws, and a fine is the last thing travelers want denting their cocktail budget.
Tough Anti-Smoking Laws
Without a doubt, the tough anti-smoking laws in Mexico, which are some of the most aggressive in the world, were brought in with public health as the number 1 priority.
But, one of the great side-effects of this legislation, and one most travelers will agree with, is the huge reduction it promises in discarded cigarettes and packaging.
Building a sandcastle on one of the many beautiful beaches of Cancun is no fun when the walls are full of cigarette butts.
On top of the cigarette butts, the top wrapper and foil insert of a cigarette packet is one of those articles of garbage that seem to have magical powers, managing to turn up in the most irritating places.
Sargassum Is On The Run
Across the Mexican Caribbean, sargassum has created huge headaches for everyone in the destination. It has negatively affected the clean white sand and clear blue water reputation that draws millions of travelers here each year.
In the pursuit of protecting their image, many resorts have employed huge teams of cleaners who spend hours each day clearing the beaches in front of their luxurious complexes.
The cost is equally shared by the government, who have been tirelessly playing catch up to divert it from the coastline. A mountain that gets taller each year as the amount of sargassum that arrives each season grows at a dizzying rate.
With that being said, the authorities are confident that they finally have sargassum on the run.
Massive off-coast barrier systems have been erected, with miles upon miles to be added over the next year. Additionally, the Mexican Navy has played its part, using specialized vessels with drag nets to pull large patches back out to sea.
Of course, travelers haven’t escaped the negative addition of sargassum. After all, it’s travelers who spend the most time on Cancun’s beaches.
For many, they’ve had to be a lot more flexible with their daytime plans, whether that means traveling by taxi or bus to another beach that has already been cleared of sargassum or deciding to spend the day doing non-beach activities.
This summer vacation season has been spookily quiet on the sargassum front compared to previous years. Unsurprisingly, this has everyone, both locals and travelers, crossing their fingers that the worst is over.
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