29 Jun 2021
Plasticdemia: Seas and oceans also need a vaccine
On the occasion of World Ocean Week 2021, the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 project CLAIM and Pensoft Publishers organised an exhibition dedicated to the plastic pollution in the seas and the oceans. The exhibition is portrayed in the National Museum of Natural History at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and can be viewed on the 4th floor of the museum. The exposition is accompanied by a poster demonstration in the Open-Air Gallery – Crystal Garden in Sofia from June 21 to July 5. The outdoor exhibition is organised by the joint collaboration of the Municipality of Sofia, the CLAIM project, Pensoft Publishers, LessPlastic Bulgaria, For the Earth, Greenpeace, Junior Achievement Bulgaria and other organisations.
Plastic has been an integral part of human development for the last 100 years. Global economic development would hardly be possible without this cheap and easy-to-use material. Plastic in our daily lives is almost inevitable, and limiting it, is often a difficulty that involves changing already established habits. We are just beginning to understand the effects of our global dependence on this material. What makes plastic useful is exactly what makes it harmful: difficult to degrade. It is made of molecular chains that are too durable to degrade biologically in a reasonable period of time. In this way, humanity leaves a serious mark on the history of Earth.
At the same time, the smaller a plastic particle is, the more organisms can absorb it. In such a way, the microplastic is transmitted from one organism to another throughout the food chain. Humans, who are on the top of the ecosystem pyramid, usually have the largest amount of accumulated microplastic.
By accessing seas and oceans, the plastic is further transmitted by sea currents and winds. In places with less sea currents and winds, a larger concentration of waste can be found – the so-called ocean dumps. The largest of them is the “Great Pacific Landfill”, the size of which is approximately six times the territory of Bulgaria.
It is not too late to change the future of the planet. The exhibitions are aimed to raise awareness amongst the society and to introduce the current innovative technologies for waste management and reduction of plastic pollution. Additionally, the expositions showcase various recommendations and good practices, provided from international marine scientist and the European Union, for reducing the use of disposable plastic, that people can apply into their daily routines.