Greenpeace: The Adriatic Islands are Suffocating in Plastic

Daniela Rogulj

Mljet, Vis, Lastovo, Šolta and many other beautiful islands which lie parallel to the coast are subject to an enormous amount of waste, of which the vast majority is plastic.

On Saturday on the island of Mljet, Greenpeace activists argued that the Adriatic islands are suffocating in plastic and urged citizens to sign a petition against the use of disposable plastic, reports on July 16, 2017.

According to the press release of Greenpeace, Mihaela Bogeljić, the leader of the campaign, thinks that while it is important to clean the beaches, that is not a solution in itself – and the fragmented pieces of plastic are almost impossible to remove.

Thus, in front of the famous Saplunara beach, activities exhibited a large bottle, glass and straw that floated in the sea, symbolically showing that there are already 1455 tons of plastic in the Mediterranean (see header photo).

“It is sad that in just a few seconds disposable plastic permanently pollutes the sea that is so loved and is the home of so many animals. The islands are the most beautiful part of our coast, and every year tons of plastic floats around them. It is time to realize that the problem should be solved by the cause and that we urgently need to change our habits and wean off of disposable plastic,” argued Bogeljić, who added that, for example, nylon bags, straws, bottles and plastic cutlery are very simple to replace for plastic and are environmentally acceptable alternatives. 

The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior III has been sailing around the Adriatic for a few days now to highlight the problem of plastic waste contamination and the fact that the South Dalmatian islands are particularly affected.

“Mljet, Vis, Lastovo, Šolta and many of the other beautiful islands which lie parallel to the coast and are in the direction of the main sea currents blowing south, are subject to an enormous amount of waste. The vast majority of that is plastic, which eventually becomes fragmented and remains in the sea as micro plastic for hundreds of years,” warned Hrvoje Čižmek, president of the Marine Society 20000 miles, an association of scientists in partnership with Greenpeace who document the seabed around Mljet National Park.

Greenpeace calls on the citizens of Croatia to sign the petition against disposable plastic. In the world, 60-80 percent of marine waste is plastic and the average density of plastic waste in the Mediterranean basin is one piece per every 4 m2, which is comparable to the deposition of plastic waste into five sub-tropical ocean eddies.

Since their arrival in Croatia, Greenpeace has run campaigns for sustainable fisheries, against TE Plomin C and the exploitation of oil from the Adriatic Sea within the SOS for the Adriatic Coalition, and for the use of renewable energy sources. In a recent solar campaign of Istria, Greenpeace helped to promote renewable sources in tourism with an emphasis on using solar energy in the Adriatic. This year, Greenpeace is running the campaign against disposable plastic.

You can sign the petition here


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