We will never tire of repeating it. Those who love the sea respect it 100%. This means, first and foremost, not throwing any kind of waste, even biological or theoretically biodegradable waste, into the water. Even an apple core, as the drawing above illustrates, takes 2 months to be disposed of. Take a look and do the math: it ranges from the 2-4 weeks of a paper handkerchief to the “indefinite time” of glass bottles and the 600 years it takes a fishing line to decompose.
ALL THE “FILTH” OF THE MEDITERRANEAN
According to a study dated 2011, a “sea” of 500 tons of plastic waste floats in the Mediterranean, topping the list of solid sources of pollution with cigarette butts and bottles. The risk is that this mass of plastic (mostly bags) can become compacted, creating a phenomenon like the famous Plastic Vortex, a semi-submerged solid mass of plastic that sails across the Pacific Ocean with an extent of millions of square meters.
NORTH TYRRHENIAN AT RISK
The most affected area in the Mediterranean, according to research, is in the northern Tyrrhenian Sea and off the island of Elba, in the area that is ironically called the Cetacean Sanctuary. The concentration of plastic waste in this area is 892,000 fragments per km2, compared to the Mediterranean average of 115,000.
THE GARBAGE ON BOARD
The remedy? Trivial to say, a greater sense of responsibility: don’t throw anything in the water, and perhaps, even on board, sort your garbage. Some time ago, sailor Giovannella Fresi told us about her solution for sorting waste on board: “Boaters are well acquainted with the issue of garbage on board, especially if, as you should do, you also want to sort it. For daily outings, or otherwise a few days, except for the usual collection bag for bulky plastic (bottles, etc.) I made three small containers by cutting 5-liter bins like the ones for distilled water and placed them under the first step of the ladder for underboard access held in place by rubber bands attached to plastic hooks that can be of various kinds (I used open ones so that I could easily release the rubber bands and empty the bins). Each container is for a different type of waste, paper, plastic, and unsorted waste, and they are convenient for many factors. They take up an otherwise unused space without bothering the safe use of the ladder, allow small garbage/kerchiefs, juice tetrapacks, plastic cups, etc ) to be thrown directly from the cockpit without having inconvenient bags in the cockpit, and are very easy to empty.”