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Europe has a great diversity of beautiful beaches and bathing areas, and each year millions of Europeans spend their weekends at their local beach or their holidays cooling down by the water. Water quality at beaches across Europe improved significantly over the past few decades, thanks to EU policies and actions by Member States.
monitored across Europe
of bathing sites
had excellent water quality
of bathing sites
had poor water quality
Up for a swim: which EU country has the best water quality?
Details on all Member States' bathing waters for the 2022 season can be found in the national bathing water reports.
Each report contains details on monitoring bathing water quality in the specific country and an assessment of the 2022 results and the trends in bathing water quality.
Proportion of bathing waters with excellent quality in European countries in 2022
Source: WISE bathing water quality database (data from 2022 annual reports by EU-27 Member States, Albania and Switzerland).
Check the quality of the bathing water near you.
Marine litter: Where does it come from?
There are no surprises: land-based sources account for a massive 80% of marine litter in Europe, and approximately 85% of it is plastic, according to the EEA web report 'From source to sea — The untold story of marine litter.' Packaging and small plastic items make up nearly 80% of this plastic waste.
The new EEA report is the first Europe-wide study of its kind taking a holistic look at how this litter is created and ends up in our European seas via our rivers.