There are unimaginable amounts of plastic waste in the world's oceans. Although the Mediterranean Sea is relatively isolated, it is just as much affected by plastic waste as the rest of the world's oceans. The garbage massively damages the environment, an end is not foreseeable.
How much plastic is there in the Mediterranean? According to researchers, more than ten million tonnes of plastic waste arrive in the oceans each year from land alone.
A study published in February 2015 (the first of its kind in 40 years) sought to compile global data on population density and economic status: it was estimated that in 2018, the 192 coastalcountries of the world would have produced 275 million tonnes of plastic waste. 5 to 13 million tonnes were found in the water. The problem is, that plastic does not disappear. It does notsimply dissolve and remains there on the seabed. Plastic is not biodegradable. As time goes by, it decays into tiny pieces and finally to the level of "microplastics".
No one really wants to eat plastic, although many microscopic animals still do it by accident. The whole global food chain hangs on them, and the plastic finally lands on our plate. A team of American scientists has predicted in a study that by 2025, humans have thrown 155 million tons of plastic into the oceans - half of the total weight of humanity.
The solution to the problem must therefore lie with us consumers - we must rethink our consumption and our handling of (plastic) garbage. We could start at the beach and throw the waste of the day into the garbage containers on the beach. Also cigarette stumps in the sand are little appetizing and dangerous for toddlers.
Author: Ismael Baran, 24.08.2017
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