Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior will dock in Palma on Wednesday. En route from Valencia, Greenpeace are highlighting the major problem of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean by spreading a dozen giant plastic objects in Balearic waters: two twelve-metre bottles, two glasses of six metres plus caps and straws. Each one carries a message - #NoPlastic.
Elvira Jiménez, who heads the Greenpeace Oceans campaign, says that the aim is "to make visible the invisible, which is all the plastic that is invading the Mediterranean." She adds: "The objects that we have represented eventually break into smaller pieces. They are imperceptible, seemingly harmless, but they are even more dangerous for the marine environment."
According to Greenpeace, approximately 40% of the demand for plastics in Spain and Europe is for containers that are mostly for single use. Jiménez argues that there has to be a reduction in the amount of plastic as well as greater reuse. "The responsibility lies with consumers, with companies that manufacture products and distribute them and with governments that legislate."
The European Union is currently revising directives regarding waste management and packaging, including plastic. Meanwhile, Greenpeace are calling on European ministers, including Spain's Isabel García Tejerina, to back measures that will reduce single-use plastic and enable European countries to freely legislate.
Their symbolic action with the giant objects is part of an international campaign - "Less plastic, more Mediterranean". In the Mediterranean, it is estimated that there is one piece of plastic for every four square metres, giving a density that is comparable to "plastic soups" in the Pacific Ocean.
Between 21% and 54% of all microplastics are to be found in the Mediterranean. Of rubbish collected from Spanish beaches in the Mediterranean, 72% is plastic.
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