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thesadstork VI part:
Solvay Beaches, or “The White Beaches” are a stretch of about four kilometers of sandy coast of the city of Rosignano Marittimo in Tuscany, between the small town of Solvay and the center of Vada.
The unusual color of the sand, which is why the beach is compared to real tropical shores, is a result of years of calcium carbonate processing and discharging from a plant of the Solvay group, located at Solvay, about a kilometer from coast.
The plant, which happens to be the largest in Europe, was built in 1912 near the beach, starting its activity in 1914, producing, as well as sodium carbonate, hydrogen peroxide, polyethylene, calcium chloride, baking soda and hydrochloric acid.
You can access the beach from a small hill, which until 1983 served as a landfill for production waste and domestic waste.
Because of discharges of Solvay, that include various pollutants (including until the year 2010 even mercury), the White Beaches are among the most polluted in Italy and fishing in the surrounding waters is extremely reduced. In addition, this stretch of coast is among the 15 most polluted coastal sites on the Mediterranean Sea, according to the United Nations environment Program. The mercury discharge was at first mitigated and within the year 2010 solved with the conversion of the plant to membrane electrolysis.
Waste discharges in the sea, however, have not changed aside from mercury and chlorine production and Solvay discards each year more than 100,000 tons of waste in the same stretch of sea.
Astoundingly, even in the years before the industry conversion, this coast and its beaches have been awarded several times with the Blue Flag and the White Beaches remain one of the most popular seaside destinations in Tuscany.
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