The Mediterranean is infested with plastic: the kind you see on the surface and the kind in the form of microparticles that suffocate the seabed and are ingested by fish. We boaters, but also anyone who experiences the sea and beaches, can take action now by becoming plastic hunters in Medplastic’s “Trash Hunters 2021” campaign.
By now when we sail our sailboats in the Mediterranean, but also when we go out kitesurfing or on board a board to be pushed by paddle both in the sea and along the beaches we find plastic everywhere: bottles, pieces of styrofoam, bags, fishing lines, caps, straws, bottles of all kinds and in recent months even anti-Covid masks and disposable gloves.
It is an irrefutable sign that the Mare Nostrum is full of plastic waste. Both those we see floating on the surface and those that cannot be seen and are even more dangerous, namely the microplastics that settle on the seabed, are eaten by fish and become an integral part of the marine ecosystem.
Plastic in the sea comes to us from the coasts but also from inland locations via rivers, and Italy unfortunately right after Egypt and Turkey, is the country that contributes the most to plastic pollution in the Mediterranean. A gigantic damage that is not only environmental, but also tourist and economic.
Boaters lined up against plastic
To save the Mare Nostrum from plastic pollution, action is needed now: by 2050, according to the World Economic Forum, plastic circulating in the oceans will in fact weigh more than the fish that live in them. We who go to sea are the first to see the effects of pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, and we must be the first to stand up against plastic. For example, we can eliminate the use of straws, disposable plates and cups on board, embark on reusable bags and containers, substitute aluminum water bottles for pvc bottles, reduce all disposable products, and organize proper waste separation on the boat.
But we boaters to finally rid the Mediterranean of plastic can do even more. There are so many of us, an army, so why not have a real war on plastic?
Collect the plastic, take a selfie and post it…
The Sailing Newspaper together with Barche a Motore magazine and Medplastic, the association created in 2018 to safeguard the Mediterranean, is launching the “Trash Hunters” campaign for this summer 2021 and invites you all to turn into plastic hunters. How? Easy as pie! Whenever you see one or more pieces of floating plastic waste, pick it up, take a selfie with the “catch” and post it on Instagram in Direct Message to @giornaledellavela and @barcheamotore or post it on your profile by tagging @giornaledellavela and @barcheamotore. If you want you can also use the hashtag #medplastic2021. In addition to the generic description of your “prey,” it is very important in your reports to add the exact geographic location of the find and your first and last name.
In addition to giving visibility to your testimony and concrete cleanup operation, the goal of Medplastic’s “Trash Hunters 2021” campaign is to create a map of the largest concentrations of plastic in the Mediterranean Sea to try to remove them as soon as possible. Then, once we have collected all the reports, we will turn them into a kind of “virtual petition” that we will send directly to Environment Minister Roberto Cingolani.
With your actions and photos, we will be able to make the sea cleaner and raise more people’s awareness so that they too can help us in this endeavor! The Mediterranean is us!
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