Circular economy could be the answer to plastic pollution, Environment Commissioner says

Circular economy could be the answer to plastic pollution, Cyprus Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou has said, calling on everyone to become a green consumer and reduce the use of plastics. The Commissioner delivered a speech on Wednesday on the EU Strategy for Marine Pollution, organized by the Open University in Nicosia.

In her speech she said that we all need to reuse, recycle at source, manage any waste properly and design products and services on the basis of the principles of the circular economy. Referring in particular to the Mediterranean, Panayiotou said that it has been classified as one of the most affected areas of the world with regard to microplastics which were found in high frequency. She also said that the Mediterranean is also affected by large tons of floating plastics.

According to Panayiotou, it has been estimated that 1.25 million pieces of plastic are located per square kilometer. This concentration is almost four times higher than the recorded quantities in the so-called “plastic island” in the North Pacific Ocean. These microplastics are posing a major threat to human health the Commissioner said, citing a study by WWF that plastics account for 95% of the litter found in the seas, both on the seabed and on the shores. The pollution comes mainly from Turkey, Spain, Italy, Egypt, France and Greece because of the large numbers of tourists.

According to other studies, Europeans consume up to 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every time they eat seafood. Referring to bioplastics, ie biodegradable plastics whose components are derived entirely from renewable raw materials like starch, Panayiotou said that it could be the answer to plastic , however the crucial question is whether there is enough renewable sources to meet all the needs.

Source: Cyprus News Agency