It's time to enjoy our shores: doing some sports as surfing or kayaking, sunbathing at the beach or swimming. It's summer, a wonderful season!
However, it's starting to be more common to find trash at the beach. It's a pity but, unfortunately, it's our reality. Some of this waste comes from people who after spending the full day at the beach they decide not to pick up all the stuff they bring, leaving some bottles or cans, plastic bags, food waste, cigarettes, and a long disgusting list.
Other part of the plastic waste comes from the sewerage (Greenpeace, 2019) as for example straws, pieces of bottles, ear buds, bags or bottle caps.
The solution to stop this marine litter is in hands of single-use plastic producers that should replace them for reusable ones. But we have big news! From last month, the European Union has introduced a new directive that restricts certain single-use plastic products. It's time to say goodbye to the following list (OCU, 2021):
· Single-use plastic cutlery (spoons, forks, knives, and chopsticks).
· Single-use plastic plates.
· Cotton ear buds made of plastic.
· Plastic sticks to hold balloons.
· Oxodegradable plastics and polystyrene food containers and cups.
These products constitute 70% of Mediterranean Sea litter according to the European Commission (Forbes, 2019). So we are so happy that this directive has been approved and starts working from now!
Even it's time to celebrate good news, it's important to be respectful with the environment when going to the beach. Always we should pick up everything that we bring and never leave trash. Also it's a good practice to pick all the litter that we find there and help to have cleaner beaches.
A few days ago we wrote an article talking about 5 ways to reduce our waste. Small steps that can we can add to our daily rutine that have a great impact to our environment.
Also we'd love to share a project called Upcycling Oceans from Ecoalf. They work to remove the litter from marine ecosystems and give it a second life creating top quality yarn which they also use to produce their own clothes collection.