Petition launched to keep the sea ‘plastic free’
Local marine biologist Lewis Stagnetto has launched a petition calling on the Gibraltar Government to ban plastic bags and microbeads.
The petition highlights environmental issues caused by plastic bags being dumped into the sea.
Mr Stagnetto told the Chronicle that he has noticed increased plastic pollution in our seas and wants to see a stop to this.
“It is estimated that by 2050 we will have more plastic in the ocean than fish,” Mr Stagnetto warned.
He wants to see the end of lightweight single use plastic bags commonly used in many local shops. Instead he is encouraging government to seek an alternative by using brown paper bags.
Microbeads commonly found in face scrubs and toothpastes are actually small pieces of plastic. It is argued by conservationists that these beads can affect fish growth when ingested.
“I have noticed in my own lifetime increased awareness,” Mr Stagnetto said.
“We now have a marine protective area and there is a big movement globally to stop the use of microbeads.”
He added: “I am doing this not for my coastline, but for our coastline.”
Mr Stagnetto also stated that marine wildlife such as turtles eat plastic bags mistaking them for jellyfish. Countries such as Morocco, France, Rwanda, China, Taiwan and Macedonia have already made the move to ban the bags.
The petition titled ‘ban plastic bags, save our oceans and keep the sea plastic free’ can be found online at change.org.
Once the petition receives 500 signatures Mr Stagnetto will deliver it to the Gibraltar Government.