The Guardian: Sea Salt Contaminated by Plastic

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The Guardian reports that “sea salt around the world has been contaminated by plastic pollution, adding to experts’ fears that microplastics are becoming ubiquitous in the environment and finding their way into the food chain via the salt in our diets.”

We are a portal dedicated to sharing all news and useful information about Croatia; however, it would be foolish of us to pretend that the happenings and discoveries in the rest of the world, have no impact on Croatia (though I am sure many would like to think this). The topic of plastic pollution is a worldwide issue and one that is not going away anytime fast; though Croatia is cleaner than many countries and the crystal-clear waters speak for themselves, all waterways are connected and we are not immune to plastic pollution and microplastics.

The Guardian reports that “new studies have shown that tiny particles [microplastics] have been found in sea salt in the UK, France, Spain, as well as China and now the US.”

The article moves on to say that “researchers believe the majority of contamination comes from microfibres and single-use plastics such as water bottles, items that comprise the majority of plastic waste. Up to 12.7m tonnes of plastic enters the world’s oceans every year, equivalent to dumping one garbage truck of plastic per minute into the world’s oceans, according to the United Nations.”

Sherri Mason, a professor at the State University of New York led the latest research into plastic contamination in salt – “plastics are ubiquitous, in the air, water, the seafood we eat, the beer we drink, the salt we use – plastics are just everywhere.”

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Credit: The Times

The Guardian recently analysed our relationship with plastic bottles and they discovered that 1m plastic bottles are purchased per minute, by 2050 this consumption is expected to quadruple and it is estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean (5:1) than fish.

Last month, Spanish researchers concluded, “sea products are irredeemably contaminated by microplastics.”

While hearing talks of plastic pollution in the US and China may seem worlds away from Croatia, Spain is very close to home. A global shift needs to happen but it starts from the individual, from the small consumer choices we make daily.

Mason said: “I hope what comes from this is not that [consumers] just switch brands and try to find something that’s table salt or mined salt… We have to focus on the flow of plastic and the pervasiveness of plastics in our society and find other materials to be using instead.”

What are you doing, today, to reduce plastic? Can I throw out a challenge to everyone – how about starting with refusing to buy plastic water bottles? We are extremely lucky here (unlike many other countries) that the tap drinking water in Croatia is of an excellent standard, buy a reusable bottle and commit to refusing to purchase bottled water.

One other thing that is an absolute must to cut out is beauty products with microplastics, i.e. cleansing beads. How on earth these products were allowed to go into production is beyond me – think about it for a second, those tiny plastic balls that are ‘exfoliating’ your skin, go directly down the drain and, you guessed it, into our waters! There are plenty of natural, alternative options, like sugar scrubs.

It is time to start thinking about the bigger picture, our actions have an impact. Here is a short list of small daily actions you can take today to reduce your plastic usage. Have some great tips of your own? Email [email protected]

Watch this eye-opening video about plastic pollution below

Read the full report by The Guardian here.


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