Plastic waste is still a threat to the sea
Our attention is currently focused on the Covid-19-derived pandemic. However, ignoring or forgetting pre-pandemic environmental threats would be a serious mistake. We must remember that when the planet suffers, the human being does so with it.
Many of these threats are currently on the rise, and in particular, the global pandemic is exacerbating some of them. The main one is the presence of plastics (including micro and nanoplastics) in the seas and oceans, and it is increasing.
Recent studies by Professor Penelope K. Lindeque of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in the south of England have shown that when finer-than-usual nets are used to capture microplastics, 2.5 times more can be found. per cubic meter.
Added to this fact, we find studies from the Institute of Environmental Diagnosis and Water Studies (IDAEA) of the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) in which organophosphate compounds, chemicals used as plasticizers, have been found. (to give softness to the plastic) and flame retardants (with combustion inhibitory effect) in whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and krill from Iceland. These studies coincide with those conducted by the same research group on dolphins in the Alborán Sea in late 2019. These studies confirm that the damage that these materials cause goes beyond their physical impact.
Finally, it is important to highlight the increasingly relevant emergence of surgical masks and plastic gloves on the Spanish coast. It has already been found on the Cantabrian coast. The use of these materials is essential for our health, but we must reject them in the most appropriate way to minimize or avoid the resulting impacts. We must continue to fight for the well-being of the environment and not leave out the marine environment.