Thousands of plastic bags, tires and cans settle along the Balearic coastline every year.
The way surrounding countries manage their sea contamination is key to stopping this rubbish arriving on our island’s beaches. Residue sinks or floats, the sea doesn’t swallow anything up, it can stay in the sea for hundreds of years. For example, it takes 450 years for a plastic bottle to dissolve in the sea.
We need posidonia to have nice white sandy beaches, and poseidonia needs light to reach the seabed in order to survive. The islands of rubbish that accumulate and float on the sea prevent light getting through, and this can affect the posidonia detrimentally, preventing it from carrying out its vital functions.
Marine life is also affected by the presence of rubbish in the sea, especially rubbish that has broken down into smaller particles; this is then ingested by humans who eat fish and seafood. But those worse affected are the turtles, seabirds and mammals who die from eating the plastic, or who get caught up in fishing lines, or other nets and packaging. Unfortunately the impact caused by human action on the marine ecosystems and organisms, has not been a good enough reason to develop a system to clean the sea.