The Olympic medallist Ona Carbonell has joined the fight against marine litter alongside Afundación in a new clean-up activity organised by the Obra Social of ABANCA on the island of Cortegada, within the Atlantic Islands of Galicia Maritime-Terrestrial National Park.

The beaches of the island of Cortegada were the place chosen by Afundación to hold a new marine litter clean-up day within the framework of PlanctON, the territorial action plan promoted by ABANCA's Obra Social which, since it began last year, has been travelling the coasts of Galicia from north to south, conducting multiple clean-up activities that have already removed almost 25 tonnes of this type of waste from beaches and seabed in 18 clean-up actions. The main objective of the PlanctON project, within the framework of the sustainability strategy of ABANCA and Afundación, is to promote the conservation and sustainability of the socio-economic activities conducted in certain areas with special protection for marine birds in Galicia, as well as in other places of special relevance.

The event on the island of Cortegada was very special, as among the more than 50 people who participated in this experience, belonging to tertiary sector associations such as Bata e Con Eles, the Naturalist Habitat Group, the Association of Shellfish Harvesters of Carril, the National Park itself, CECA, and the volunteer programme Actúa, run by ABANCA and Afundación, was the Olympic medallist of the Spanish National Synchronised Swimming Team and ambassador of CECA's Obra Social and Financial Education programme, Ona Carbonell, a woman intimately linked to the sea, as she has already stated on more than one occasion.

Ona Carbonell, an ambassador for CECA's Obra Social and Financial Education programme since 2019 and a legend of Spanish sport, represents the values of commitment and dedication that guide CECA's member entities, committed to progress and society through initiatives that contribute to social welfare and promote development, with a special focus on the most vulnerable groups.

María García Cabeza, Head of Sustainability at ABANCA, Pilar Alves, General Coordinator of CSR at Afundación, and Pepín Fernández Bouzas, Director of the Parque Nacional das Illas Atlánticas, also took part in the activity.

The end result of the clean-up was that more than 52 kilos were collected from the different sandbanks where work was undertaken throughout the day, with the most abundant being the plastic plugs lost during mussel cultivation work on the mussel rafts, small tangles of fishing lines, pieces of nets and lines, caps, cans and bottles of drinks and of other products, cigarette butts, plastic remains of ear-cleaning cotton buds, drinking straws, wrappers and small pieces of plastic that could not be identified as to their origin.

Prior to the clean-up, the AMARCARRIL shellfish collectors gave a small introductory workshop on shellfishing to raise awareness of their work, an activity that was completed with a small tour around the island in which they guided the volunteers, telling them all the secrets hidden in this beautiful enclave of the Arousa estuary.