THERE’S MORE PLASTIC IN OUR SEA WATER THAN PLANKTON!
Alarm bells are ringing about plastic waste. The very properties that make it is so valuable – its durability, low cost, light weight – also make it a growing global pollution issue. If we are to make people’s lives better, we need to start from the world we live in.
A continent of debris is building up in our oceans and seas. Marine litter can be anything from kitchen to illegally-dumped waste, fishing nets to oil barrels, electrical and electronic devices to ship-source waste. However, 60 to 80% of this waste is plastic and in the Mediterranean it primarily derives from tourism and recreational activities. Plastics can travel thousands of miles and take up to 450 years to decompose, but worse, they have proven impacts on the health of ecosystems and humans. While research advances on the latter, less well understood impacts, we decided to direct our energies and resources to addressing those that we do understand.
Plastic debris is a threat to marine life, it poses risks to human health, it changes ecosystems, it affects economies, it renders fishing catches worthless, it damages ships, it deters tourism. Plastic waste is no longer just an “eyesore”. It is detrimental to the health of our sea and our people.
Mediterranean coastlines and marine life have fallen on hard times, and in our environmental program, we aim to do something about that. By campaigning to introduce new waste-management infrastructure and more environmentally friendly materials, promoting investment in alternative conversion technologies, encouraging recycling and reuse, and working to create a more enabling, environmentally-friendly and socially responsible environment, we can help to reduce the waste clogging our coasts and filling our sea beds. Only then can we create truly healthy communities.
We can’t change the world, but we can bring change to a community. Our environmentalprojects will aim to reduce marine debris in the Mediterranean Sea, working in cooperation with local communities. We will encourage people and businesses in our target community to reuse rather than throw away. We will provide structural means of shoreside recycling while mobilizing communities to take part in clean-up actions. We will lobby producers to rethink and redesign their products. We will promote prevention, offering support and stimulating innovation in manufacturers. Through education and awareness, we will help consumers and commercial entities understand the impact of plastic waste and rethink their plastic footprint. In other words, we will take a five-R approach – Reduce – Reuse – Recycle – Redesign – Recover – to stop plastic from ever making it as far as our sea.
Plastic pollution is damaging our planet globally but can be tackled if people come together, locally, to connect with their local environment and act together to stem the tide of waste.
The Scuola di Robotica association has set itself some worthy targets, from promoting a circular economy and fostering virtuous cycles to protecting our seas. It aims to do this by harnessing 3D printing technology to give litter left behind by fishermen and bathers a new life in a project called The Sea in 3D, funded by the Costa Crociere Foundation which has made safeguarding the environment its mission.
Our oceans are becoming landfills. Instead of driving the economy, goods produced for profit are clogging up beaches and seas. As one of the fastest growing threats to marine and human health, marine debris needs to be tackled…now.
Liguria’s rich and biodiverse coastline is under threat from a legacy of litter. It is a crisis that is dangerous for wildlife, hazardous for humans and a risk for coastal economies. Our mission is to work together with OLPA to turn the tide on marine debris.