The fine is steep, just a warning.
Since August 1, Sardinia enforced a law to fine tourists €1,000 ($1180) for taking sand, stones and seashells back to their home countries.
The Mediterranean island is known for its gorgeous beaches, tempting travelers to pack a pinch in water bottles as souvenirs. The fine may seem steep for a mere handful of sands, but this issue has been bothering locals for years. So much so that access to Budelli island – the famous pink beach in the northeast of Sardinia – became forbidden in 1994.
Back in 2015, a total of 5 tonnes of sand was snatched at capital Cagliari’s Elmas airport. Bottles of sands were also retrieved at other airports including: Alghero and Olbia.
A Facebook group, “Sardinia robbed and plundered” was created to share photos of plastic containers filled beach souvenirs. Liked by more than 24K users, the page urges locals and politicians to view the issue as an environmental emergency.
Since August 1, an official law indicates, “whoever takes, keeps or sells small quantities without permission” will face fines ranging from €500 – €3,000. Bottles are typically caught through X-rays at airports.
Any traveler attempting to steal Sardinian sand regardless, he/she will most likely be shamed by local media which is actively abashing such an act it views as disgraceful. Anti-theft activists have also posted sand being sold on eBay.
The main mission is to preserve local nature that was in existence since millions of years ago. As the amount of travelers taking sands away as souvenirs, locals fear it will disappear sooner than expected.
Have you ever been tempted to take sands as souvenirs? Share with us in the comments.