North Sea Foundation finds that bottle caps make list of top 5 ocean trash items that are deadly for sea life
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 23 June, 2017 - The North Sea Foundation recently conducted a full investigation and report on plastic bottle caps. While most are familiar with bags, micro plastics, mermaid tears and other plastic products that pose a risk to marine life, bottle caps pose a threat to wildlife because they look like food.
Last summer more than 2,000 volunteers picked up as many bottle caps as they could find along the Netherlands’ North Sea shoreline. More than 10,000 caps were collected analysed.
“Plastic caps are among the top five most commonly found items of litter on beaches worldwide,” said Floris van Hest, director of the North Sea Foundation.
The number of bottle caps found on the beach per kilometre numbered between 20 and 128 and more than 80% came from consumer drinks and food packaging. The group issued the following conclusions on the issue of worldwide bottle cap pollution.
- bottle caps are among the top 5 items found during beach cleaning and beach litter monitoring around the world
- over the last 30 years, more than 20 million bottle caps and lids were found during beach cleaning activities around the world.
- it is unknown how many bottle caps actually enter our oceans and wash up on shore
- plastic bottle caps are made of hard plastics and degrade very slowly
- plastic bottle caps are among the top 5 ocean trash items that are deadly for sea life.
“We hope that this report encourages industry, governments and citizens to help resolve and reduce plastic cap pollution so that we can maintain a clean, healthy ocean and a well-functioning ecosystem, in our beautiful North Sea and other oceans worldwide” added van Hest.
The North Sea Foundation suggested introducing deposits for plastic single-use drink packages, develop new types of packaging and having consumers utilise re-usable drink containers as solutions.