With the fish on the table: plastic garbage in the sea lands on our plates again
(aid) - 30 million tons of plastic end up in our oceans every year, according to the Federal Environment Agency. That is ten percent of the annual plastic production. There are plastic garbage strudel in the sea, the size of Central Europe. The plastic waste is e.g. B. torn fishing nets and ropes, plastic bags, bottles and baby diapers. These large parts are broken down into smaller particles by the wave motion and UV radiation until it is finally microplastic.
There is (still) no general definition for the particle size of these particles; however, as the name suggests, it is only a few micrometers to millimeters in size and sometimes only visible under the microscope. However, it is also assumed that microplastics in the sea are carried to a considerable extent by land and can come from many sources, such as the abrasion of car tires or particles from cosmetics. This microplastics can only be insufficiently filtered out in the sewage treatment plants.
Marine animals ingest microplastics with their food. It starts with plankton and continues through the food chain to large fish. This also applies to fish on our doorstep in the North and Baltic Seas. The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) recently examined the contamination of herring, mackerel, cod, dab and flounder together with other research institutions. Of the 290 fish examined, 5.5 percent were contaminated with plastic. Fish in the open water (herring and mackerel) were on average 10.7 percent contaminated, of the fish living on the sea floor (cod, dab and flounder) it was 3.4 percent.
Even though the Southeast Asian countries of China, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines are considered to be the main cause of plastic waste in the sea, each and every one of us can do something about the plastic flood: reduce disposable packaging, recycle it as long as possible, dispose of it properly. In English this sounds a bit more catchy: reduce, reuse, recycle. Rüdiger Lobitz, aid