Police on the island of Sardinia, the autonomous region of Italy in the Mediterranean, recently caught two French tourists stole 14 bottles of sand on the southern beach. The couple kept the bottles of sand in the trunk of their car and were preparing to take the ferry to leave the island for Toulon city (France).
The two tourists may face a prison sentence of one to six years for stealing public property. According to the 2017 law, all activities of trading sand and gravel and shells … on the island are illegal, with a fine of up to 3,330 USD.
In 1994, the local government closed the famous pink beach on Budelli Island, in northeastern Sardinia. Officials are concerned about the future of the island when tons of precious pink sand disappears each year.
Pierluigi Cocco, an environmental scientist from the island’s Cagliari capital, said: “The seashore are Sardinia’s main tourist destination. There are two threats, one is from natural erosion due to climate change causing sea levels to rise, the second threat is from sand stealing tourists “.The expert said that only a few tourists took their time to dig up to 40 kg of sand to take home. “But if only 5% of a million tourists come to the island to take sand, for a few years the beaches will disappear,” Cocco said. The sand-stealing tourists in Sardinia are mostly Europeans, bringing sand bottles home to auction online.