Wie bevrijdt de Middellandse Zee van plasticsoep?

Who will free the Mediterranean Sea of the plastic soup?

Amsterdam, 23 June 2018 – The most polluted seas in the world are the enclosed seas. On World Environment Day, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) published a report about the plastic soup in the Mediterranean Sea. The WWF concludes that the concentration of microplastics is four times higher here than the highest concentration in the Pacific Ocean. The plastic that leaks into the Mediterranean Sea remains there forever, trapped in the enclosed sea.

The report, entitled Out of the plastic trap. Saving the Mediterranean from plastic pollution, notes that most of the plastic pollution comes from Turkey and Spain, followed by Italy, Egypt and France. Half of the waste in countries such as France, Spain and Italy still ends up in landfills. Much of it blows into the sea.

Economic sectors such as the fisheries and tourism are experiencing increasing levels of plastic pollution, even as they themselves are contributing to it. The fisheries are facing about 62 million Euros of damage caused by falling fish catches and damage to boats. Half of all sea turtles have plastic in their stomachs. For tuna, this is one of five tuna.

The WWF argues for stringent international and national measures. Among the international measures should be an international treaty with binding reduction measures and agreements about trade in plastic waste and criteria for recycling. The national measures should include a 100% recycling target plus a ban on plastic bags and single-use plastics. A ban on microplastics in personal care products should also be passed. The Plastic Soup Foundation has been campaigning on this issue since 2012.