European Commission

Directorate General for Coasts of the Canary Islands

Directorate-General for the Coast and the Sea - Ministry for Ecological Transition

Photo of microplastics on La Laja Beach (Gran Canaria)

Microplastics on La Laja Beach (Gran Canaria)

A group of researchers from the University of Las Palmas has exposed the reality that there are at least 50 million small plastic fragments and synthetic fibres per square kilometre of ocean.In the area around the Canary Islands there are at least 50 million small fragments of plastic and synthetic fibres per square kilometre of ocean. Our scientists have sounded the alarm, it is up to the Canary Islanders to respond.

Unfortunately, removing microplastics from the ocean is an almost impossible task with today's technology, as the nets we have would also entrain plankton and even small life forms. Moreover, this is a global problem, as many of these microplastics, such as the plastic pellets used in the manufacture of various products, fall into the sea from the ships that transport them. Until we have the tools to clean our oceans of these materials, what we can do is to keep our coasts clean and prevent further pollution.

On top of that, fish ingest microplastics because they mistake them for food. Microplastics contaminate both marine wildlife and the humans who eat them.

What we demand of our representatives and the authorities who are the subject of this petition:

1. Their commitment to undertake the necessary regulatory reforms to ensure that these plastics are classified as hazardous materials.

2. Its commitment to undertake the necessary regulatory reforms to ensure that vessels carrying them use mandatory positioning systems with maximum safety guarantees to prevent them from falling into the sea.

3. Its commitment to undertake regular clean-ups of our coasts to keep them free of microplastics.


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Send the petition to your contacts!

By signing this petition you will be doing your bit to make our representatives understand that there is a popular clamour to defend life in our waters, which also means defending our economy, and that they will act. After all, the tourism sector thrives on maritime activities such as scuba diving and surfing, on boat-based marine life observation and on our beaches. But more and more people are seeing traces of microplastics on the coasts of the Canary Islands and more and more people are complaining about seeing plastic waste when they do sport in the sea.

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