Italy

Plastic Beach

A walk through one of the world’s biggest problems

It’s as if 33,000 plastic bottles ended up in the Mediterranean every minute. In one year that amounts to 570,000 tons of plastic: a disaster that kills fish, dolphins, birds and turtles, and which shows little sign of abating in the future. Indeed, the WWF recently launched a petition (#stopplasticpollution) and an awareness campaign: if we don’t stop this emergency, pollution in the Mediterranean area will increase fourfold by 2050.

The problem obviously concerns all of the world’s oceans which are invaded by millions of tons of invisible microplastics and non-recycled single-use plastic (today we know that recycling isn’t enough). These substances are mistaken for food and are ingested by hundreds of endangered species whose members often die on account of suffocation or indigestion.

In order to get an idea of the extent of the problem, all you need to do is take a walk along any stretch of the Mediterranean coastline after a storm. You will soon notice the vast amount of debris that is semi-submerged in the sand.