Croatian Islands Swamped by Plastic
Greenpeace activists displayed their ten-metre high props on Mljet Island yesterday in order to dramatically illustrate where non-reusable plastics usually ends up after being chucked in the garbage, reports Morski.hr.
In front of the famous Saplunara beach, a large inflated bottle, glass and straw floated in the sea, symbolically portraying 1455 tons of plastics polluting the Mediterranean.
“Cleaning beaches is a necessity, but it is by no means a solution. Shredded pieces of plastic are almost impossible to remove. The sad thing is that just for the few seconds that we use the non-reusable plastics, we are polluting the sea and all the animals in it permanently. The islands are the most beautiful part of our coast, and every year they get overfilled with tons of plastic. It is high time to understand that we need to address and resolve the source of the problem, which means that we need to change our habits and stop using non-reusable plastics altogether. For example, nylon bags, straws, plastic bottles and plastic cutlery can be easily replaced by environmentally friendly alternatives,” said Mihaela Bogeljić, head of the Greenpeace campaign.
Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior III has been sailing for several days in the Adriatic to point out the problem of plastic pollution. The most affected area is the south Adriatic, particularly southern Dalmatian islands, where residents, volunteers and visitors are ‘choking’ in plastics throughout the year. The National Park Mljet is no exception.
Mljet, Vis, Lastovo, Šolta and other beautiful islands, due to their position parallel to the coastline, receive huge amounts of waste coming from strong south winds and sea currents. Much of this waste is plastic, which in time turns into microplastic that remains in the sea for hundreds of years,” said Hrvoje Čižmek, chairman of the Society for Marine Research – 20000 miles, an association of scientist who, in partnership with Greenpeace, documented the underwater area of National Park Mljet.
Greenpeace calls all citizens to sign a petition to ban non-reusable plastic and read the full report about the dangers of plastic in the Mediterranean – “Mediterranean swamped by plastic”. The report shows that 60-80% of the marine waste worldwide is made up of plastic, and that the average density of plastic waste in the Mediterranean is 1 piece per 4 m2, which is comparable to the accumulation of plastic waste in five subtropical ocean vortexes.
Since its arrival in Croatia, Greenpeace has run campaigns for sustainable fisheries and the use of renewable energy sources, and against TE Plomin C and the exploitation of oil from the Adriatic Sea, as part of the “SOS for Adriatic” coalition. With a recent solar tour of Istria, Greenpeace has launched a campaign to promote renewable sources in tourism, with a focus on the use of solar energy in the Adriatic. As of this year, Greenpeace has actively been campaigning against the use of disposable plastic.