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European Journal

Spain: Waste in the Mediterranean

It's an environmental and a health hazard. 500 tons of plastic waste are floating around Mediterranean coastlines. And when fish digest tiny bits of plastic, it puts the problem onto our dinner plates.

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Tote Meeresschildkröte

Many animals, such as this turtle, fall victim to the plastic waste floating in the Mediterranean Sea.

Plastic particles in the water come from waste from beaches and ships. Old plastic sheeting used by farmers also gets blown out to sea by the wind. The waves break up the plastic into tiny pieces which fish mistake for plankton. The European Union now wants to clamp down on the use of disposable plastic packaging. Farmers will be encouraged to recycle plastic sheeting. But that won't reverse the existing environmental damage.