Ecologistas en Acción's study on marine litter, plastics and microplastics summarizes the knowledge provided on the matter by 300 international scientific publications.
Their conclusions include data such as that each year between 6.4 and 8 million new tons of marine litter enter the ocean, of which 80% are plastics, which generate lighter elements, microplastics capable of traveling long distances.
Ecologists also warn that more than 690 species of flora and fauna have interacted with plastic marine litter, and that their remains are already in the human food chain.
80% of garbage enters the sea from densely populated areas, from industries or landfills. EFE / EeA
80% from land
The report indicates that 80% of the entry of marine garbage occurs from land, from areas with high population density and the presence of industries or landfills.
Large blocks of marine debris were initially detected mainly off the coast, but in recent years large islands of floating debris have been found in the open sea and on the ocean floor.
Ecologists in Action warns of the high presence of microplastics (particles of less than 5 millimeters), many of which come from cosmetic products, which bypass sanitation systems until they end up in seas and oceans.
Many of these microplastics also come from the fragmentation of synthetic fabrics (in a single wash they can generate more than 1,900 microplastic fibers) or from the degradation of plastic bags into microscopic particles.
Sources of entry of garbage in the sea. EFE / EeA
Pollution, threat of the century
This pollution problem is, together with climate change, one of the greatest "global threats of this century" for the oceans, according to the NGO.
It also highlights that in some cases marine organisms "do not suffer direct death from entanglements in plastic nets, but they are seriously affected by injuries or impediments generated by entrapment."
In addition, they point out that cases ofingestion of macroplastics in a large number of organisms,"Including commercially valuable fish species such as herring and mackerel, Mediterranean tunas and Atlantic cod", in which the confusion of garbage with food can cause direct death, through the obstruction of the stomach, or affect their organisms in the long term.