Plastic – not so very fantastic

The sun is shining and you’re standing on the shoreline, ready to enter the turquoise ocean. Suddenly, the ocean isn’t just turquoise anymore. A bright red plastic bag floats by, followed closely by a purple water bottle and a yellow stick.

The Mediterranean has the highest concentration of plastic garbage in the world. This is mainly due to the fact that approximately 150 million people live near the sea. Additionally, 200 million tourists visit each year, and they bring with them more plastic that ends up in the sea. According to Out of the Plastic Trap, a WWF report, 79 percent of all plastic ever produced in the world has ended up as junk.

”Our ocean has been used as a dump, which stifles life there and turns marine environments into a plastic soup,” said Erik Solheim, executive director of the UN Environment Programme, in response to the report.

Plastic soup is certainly not something you want to be swimming in during your holiday. But for the animals and other organisms living in the Mediterranean, this soup is a daily reality. According to the report, 18 percent of the Mediterranean’s tuna and swordfish have plastic debris in their stomachs. The plastic also prevents turtles and dolphins from reaching the surface to breathe.

Many countries struggle to keep their beaches and bathing areas free of plastic. But efforts are being made. In some places, cleaning days are organized, and tourists are welcome to attend. Remember, every little bit helps. Always pick up after yourself, and maybe even after others, too.

FactsElla Ella