Grahame Morris MP

Member of Parliament for Easington

Stop plastics polluting prawns!

October 4, 2017 Blog 0

Microplastics are tiny plastic fragments. They’ve been shown to release toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other illnesses when consumed by fish andmammals.

Scientists at Ghent University in Belgium recently calculated that shellfish lovers are eating up to 11,000 plastic fragments in their seafood each year.

In addition eighty-three per cent of tap water samples taken from around the world were found to be polluted with microplastic fibres. A 500ml glass of water in Europe contains on average 1.9 fibres.

The microscopic fibres might come from everyday abrasion of clothes in the wash, paints and tire dust. These contaminate local water sources, or treatment and distribution systems, entering the water cycle.

Plastic microbeads, found in face exfoliators in toothpastes, were banned in the UK this year after campaigners warned microplastics were making their way into waterways and being eaten by wildlife.

Plastic does not biodegrade, it only breaks down into smaller pieces of itself, meaning microscopic particles can easily enter the intestinal wall and travel to the lymph nodes and other bodily organs.

  • 8,300 million tonnes of virgin plastics have been produced
  • Half of this material was made in just the past 13 years
  • About 30% of the historic production remains in use today
  • Of the discarded plastic, roughly 9% has been recycled
  • Some 12% has been incinerated, but 79% has gone to landfill
  • Shortest-use items are packaging, typically less than a year
  • Longest-use products are found in construction and machinery
  • Current trends point to 12 billion tonnes of waste by 2050
  • Recycling rates in 2014: Europe (30%)

In Europe, 72 per cent of water samples taken were polluted with plastic.

Grahame said: “In my constituency plastic often washes up on the beach, it is extremely worrying to see. We need a radical programme of ensuring plastic is disposed of effectively, as it will take until 2060 before more plastic gets recycled than landfilled and lost to the environment. That clearly is too slow; we can’t wait that long.”

In the UK we use a staggering 38.5 million single-use plastic bottles and a further 58 million cans every day! Only half of these are recycled, so it’s no surprise that many of these end up on our beaches and in our oceans.

Plastic bottles take 450 years to break down, killing marine life, harming the coastal ecosystem and ruining our beaches.

Sign this petition to help stop waste in the ocean damaging our environment and marine life.