Capri island is a picturesque island which was a part of the Roman empire. It is located off the Sorrentine Peninsula on the south side of the Gulf of Naples, Italy. The island is known for its beautiful harbor called the Marina Piccola and their unique town planning called the Belvedere of Tagara. It also has historical significance as it boasts of the ruins of imperial Roman villas of Augustus (the first emperor of the Roman empire). His sea palace, temples, aqueducts, gardens and weapons that have been discovered form a major part of tourism agendas.
However, this small island of 4 square miles is under serious threat by two main factors – tourists and trash. More than 2.3 million tourists visit the island every year, but they leave behind more than they take back with them. The waters are polluted, and plastic has left the island in a state of degradation.
The mayor, Giovanni De Martino, was quick to take remedial action by imposing a ban on all forms of plastic including toys, water bottles, packed food, etc., effective from May 1, 2019. Any citizen or tourist found violating this order would have to pay €500. He has estimated that 85% of the tourists come during the day and leave at night. They leave behind more trash than money. The local people who are tired of them have themselves imposed a restriction on the boats that bring these tourists, forcing most of them to now arrive by helicopter. This helps in a way as only rich tourists arrive, and the island is assured of bringing in more revenue than trash. They call these people “mordi e fuggi” crowd which literally means “bite and flee”.