Mallorca: Plastic Waste In The Sea

11.08.2015 07:09
Kategorie: News

Head to Beaches Of Mallorca For Fun In The Sun... And Trash

Plastic waste in the med sea - GOB
Plastic waste - not only a problem of the Balearic Islands...

The plastic waste that periodically gets washed up at the beaches of Mallorca, as well as some other beaches of the Balearic Islands, has become a more serious problem.  

In July 2015, the situation was particularly bad, fuelled by the southern winds that pushed the waste – comprising mainly plastics and micro-plastics – from the Algerian coast towards the Balearic Islands. This trash that washed up on the beaches and floated on the ocean surface brought about a flood of complaints by residents and tourists about the increasing filth present in the seas.

Although volunteers armed with garbage bags and garbage boats did their best to clean up the problem, they were no match for the amount of trash that showed up. Their efforts, ala Sisyphus, were albeit just a drop in the ocean.

The problem is not limited to Mallorcan beaches but extends to Ibiza, Formentera and Cabrera National Park some twelve kilometres off the Mallorcan archipelago. Photographs issued by GOB (Balearic Group of Ornithology and Defence of Nature) show a broth of trash lapping at the shores as well as a sea turtle that was nearly strangled by plastic trash.

Sea turtle nearly strangled by plastic trash - GOB
Sea turtle almost strangled by plastic trash

Although a change in wind direction could send some of the trash back to the Mediterranean Sea, that would be just a temporary respite. This is because the trash would still be adrift, and might return to the beaches with yet another change of wind direction.

The most problematic items of the plastic waste are micro-plastics. Some of these micro-plastics come from discarded personal care products like toothpaste to bathroom products. Although smaller than five millimetres, they post a major threat to marine ecosystems and people, as these substances are eaten by the marine animals, which can become ill and die; or they may end up on our dinner plates.
To learn more about the plastic waste in our oceans, download the following for more information:

Marine Anthropogenic Litter (e-book):

BUND: The Invisible Danger (in German): Mikroplastik-Produktliste (pdf)