Marine Trash. Initiatives to Save the Planet

Last Saturday, April the 2nd, one of the activities included in the Circular Seas Project took place in the port of Malpica. This initiative, promoted by Chelonia Association, “The Coca-Cola Foundation” and “Coca-Cola European Partners” has as its main objective to reduce the impact caused by the trash that ends up on our coasts and that considerably damages marine ecosystems, putting their integrity and survival at risk.

This initiative was born in 2019, being the coasts and seas of Spain and Portugal the object of its intervention. In addition, it has the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and the Ministry for Ecological Transition. Among the various activities carried out by the project, one of them, and the one that took place in the port of Malpica, is the cleaning and raising awareness on 25 beaches or aquatic environments, reintegrating PET plastic into the value chain, with the collaboration of municipalities, organizations, companies and educational entities.

The activity took place throughout the morning, with Buceo Malpica as hostess, who has been in charge of mobilizing the necessary material and human resources. We have removed numerous types of waste from the sea, including fishing nets, tires, batteries, electronic devices… All this trash seriously damages marine ecosystems causing irreparable changes in them that can lead to their extinction and global deterioration… It is possible that from a superficial vision we see the seas and oceans clean, but the reality changes when you dive in them. The amount of trash on the seabed can be overwhelming and it is very distressing to see how its fauna and flora integrate this trash in its development, leading them to death. If we could drain the oceans, we would find a huge dumping site and we would be aware of the magnitude of the problem.

Not all the trash that reaches the sea is thrown directly into it. Much of it comes from other sources, especially rivers, which are also largely affected by human action.

It is of vital importance that activities like these continue to take place, but even more important is to help to create collective and, above all, educational awareness. It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of the planet on which we live and this begins with sensitivity and education. Our seas are a source of diversity and wealth, they give us a lot and therefore we have a duty to respect and care for them. We know that 70% of the planet is water, shouldn’t we then reflect on the importance it has in our lives?

We still have a long way to go to improve as a society and to understand that our passage through this planet has its consequences if we are not clear that we must respect and care for our environment. We do not own what surrounds us, but we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy the beauty of nature, so we must take care of it so that future generations have a healthy place to live.

Awareness and education are the keys to deal with pollution, but to know how to see the problem it is also key, only with this we will be able to start the change.

**Sources: Chelonia Asociation and Council of Malpica.

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