We are the second most plastic-polluting country in Europe

Due to the high production of plastic that we produce in unconscious quantity, we are coming to consume it as food. How can this be possible? We explain. Ninety-five percent of the waste floating in the Mediterranean Sea is plastic. Then, between 20% and 54% are microplastic particles, which are fibers less than 5mm in diameter. Although we may not realize it, many of them are part of our diet, a fact that is being studied due to the possible toxic effects they may cause.

The high pollution generated by plastic waste threatens marine species and birds of our fauna on a daily basis. According to studies conducted by the Aquae Foundation, 134 marine species have been affected by the ingestion of microplastics. Among this number, we find 60 species of fish, 9 types of seabirds, 5 marine mammals, such as dolphins, and 3 varieties of sea turtles, which inhabit the Mediterranean coasts. The most alarming aspect of the case is that 150 plastic fragments have been found inside some loggerhead turtles.

Orb Media Journalism Organization’s study on bottled water and tap water reveals that Spain is the second European country that dumps the most plastic into the Mediterranean Sea, a total of 126 tons per day, according to Tapp Water. Turkey is the first country to generate plastic waste (144 tons), Italy (90 tons), Egypt (77 tons) and France (66 tons), according to the Aquae Foundation.

It is not only the Mediterranean Sea that is affected by plastic waste pollution, as 80% of the garbage that remains floating in the oceans is plastic. This alarming figure, which is expected to reach 12 billion by 2050, causes the death of 10,000 marine animals every year and wipes out another 700 species.

The Aquae Foundation report indicates that Asia is the continent that dumps the most tons of plastic into the oceans per year (1,210,000 tons), followed by Africa (109,200 tons), Europe (3,900 tons) and Oceania, which dumps 300 tons of plastic into the sea annually.

The problem with plastic waste is that it has become a headache for environmental, social, economic and even health care. Studies by the Canadian University of British Columbia warn that a person can ingest and breathe between 70,000 and 121,000 microplastic particles per year. Studies are still being conducted to determine whether this intake is harmful to our health.