Banned and Hazardous Pesticides in European Food

Highlights from PAN Europe’s report

 

PAN Europe carried out an investigation to find out whether pesticides banned in the EU [according to 1107/2009 and PIC legislation1] are detected in food sold on the EU market, using the EU official food pesticide residue monitoring data.

 

Highlights:

  • 74 pesticides – that have been banned for use in the EU because of health and environmental concerns – were found as residues in 5811 food samples (6.2% of all samples tested), the majority being plant-based products (75.2%).

 

  • Exotic fruit sold in Europe such as guavas (85%), goji berries (55%), breadfruit (42%) and cherimoyas (40%) are on the top of the list, together with teas (37%), peppercorns (29%) and coriander leaves (25%).

 

  • The highly toxic fungicide carbendazim, a mutagen substance also toxic to reproduction, is the one which was detected the most (1596 samples), this is more samples than some of the authorised fungicides! Other pesticides, highly toxic to bees or aquatic life such as chlorfenapyr, fenbutatin-oxide, and fenpropathrin were also detected. Our analysis shows that the presence of residues of such pesticides in certain food is in fact legal.

 

  • A high number of different pesticides that have been banned in the EU was detected in food coming from China (30), India (25), Thailand (23), Brazil (13), Vietnam (14) and Morocco (12), among others.  

 

  • recent study

    (link is external)

     by Public Eye and Greenpeace Unearthed revealed that 41 banned pesticides were notified for export from the EU in 2018 predominantly from 7 countries . Our survey shows that at least 22 of those have come back to the EU as they were detected in food consumed in the European market and 19 of them were detected mainly in imported food

 

 

Under the Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU has committed to set a trade policy that supports an European ecological transition and at the same time promotes a global transition to sustainable agri-food systems. Angeliki Lysimachou, Science Policy officer at PAN Europe, says:  “The impact of hazardous pesticides on human health and biodiversity is global, and the EU must take a lead role in stopping support for any practices that jeopardise human health and biodiversity”.

Further, “as a first step the EU should halt the production and sales of banned pesticides and adopt a zero-tolerance approach for such residues in food. Further, pesticide mixtures in food should be urgently addressed. More importantly, all of this should occur alongside the development and promotion of agricultural practices and alternatives to pesticide use that work together with nature and promote biodiversity rather than destroying it”.

 

Contacts:

PAN Europe

Angeliki Lysimachou, +32 496 39 29 30, [email protected]

 

Attachment

PDF icon Press Communication banned pesticides in EU food.pdf

PDF icon Technical_Residues of Hazardous Pesticides in EU food_Final.pdf

PDF icon Report_Banned pesticides in EU food_Final.pdf

 

Notification of an Upcoming Event

 

Become a Volunteer!
Join us and help!

 

The Via Pontica Foundation and the Municipality of Burgas invite the citizens of the city of Burgas and the surrounding villages to join in the cleaning of the beach north of the “Chernomorski solnici”. The volunteers gather on September 30, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. The organization of the event is the work of the team of the project “Innovative techniques and methods for reducing marine litter in the coastal areas of the Black Sea” of the joint operational programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020”.

Join and help restore the ecological balance of the beaches of Burgas! Meet new people, invest time, energy and ideas in a good cause and feel the satisfaction that you are helping and contributing to a positive change of your city!

Join the Global Celebration of the World Migratory Bird Day!

 

World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated by people across the world on Saturday, 10 October 2020 with the theme “Birds Connect Our World”.

 

 

Birds can be found everywhere: in cities and in the countryside; in parks and backyards, in forests and mountains, and in wetlands and along the shores.  They connect all these habitats and they connect us, reminding us of our own connection to the planet, the environment, wildlife and each other.  Through their seasonal movements, migratory birds also remind us of nature’s cycles.

This year the theme of World Migratory Bird Day was chosen to highlight these connections and the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural cycles of migratory birds and that are essential for their survival and well-being.

Approximately 1,800 of the world’s 11,000 bird species migrate, some covering enormous distances. Because migratory birds depend on a network of sites that cross national borders along their migration routes for breeding, feeding, resting and overwintering, international action to protect them is essential.

Hundreds of virtual talks and a wave of online interactions dedicated to migratory birds are expected to take place in many countries on the day, with educational programmes being offered virtually by many organizations including schools, parks, zoos, forests, wildlife refuges, wetlands, museums and libraries.

The UN-led campaign aims to raise awareness of migratory birds and the importance of international cooperation to conserve them. It is organized by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties -the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) -and the Colorado-based non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).

 

 

Events around the world

As a result of COVID 19, events marking World Migratory Bird Day 2020 are predominantly migrating indoors and online.
Virtual talks and a wave of online interactions dedicated to migratory birds are expected to take place in many countries on the day:  www.worldmigratorybirdday.org/octoberevents

Statements of support

Statements of support for World Migratory Bird Day, a description of the campaign and its history as well as details of registered events can be found on the global campaign website.

WEBSITE
www.worldmigratorybirdday.org

FLYER
English  French  Spanish

SOCIAL MEDIA
Pack: https://bit.ly/WMBD2020

@WMBD
#WorldMigratoryBirdDay
#WMBD2020
#BirdsConnectOurWorld

 

Migratory birds matter

  • Migratory birds are vital to the functioning of our planet’s ecosystems, essential to sustaining life on Earth.
  • Migratory birds bring multiple benefits to humans by providing seed dispersal, pollination, pest control and other ecosystem services and functions.
  • They also provide major economic benefits and jobs, for instance, through tourism, research and education, and leisure activities such as bird watching and photography.
  • Birds have played a major role in human culture. They are reflected in art, song, dance, theatre, music and religion throughout human history.
  • Birds inspire us and help us connect and re-connect with nature.

Ecological connectivity is essential for migratory birds 

  • connectivity ensures that migratory birds can move between resting, breeding and feeding sites that support them during their life cycle.
  • Over the course of more than hundred million years migratory birds have evolved and developed complex migration strategies, adapting to climate change, annual weather cycles and specific food availability.
  • Migratory birds need to be able to travel unimpeded along a network of well-functioning breeding, stop-over and wintering sites to reproduce, refuel and survive.
  • The impacts of a range of human activities on the environment are affecting birds in different countries along their migration routes, so it is essential that countries work together and that conservation action is coordinated and takes place in all the countries they pass on their journeys.

About World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on two peak days each year (the second Saturdays of May and October) to highlight the need for international collaboration to ensure the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats globally. Registered events to mark World Migratory Bird Day 2020 will include bird festivals, education programmes, media events, quizzes, competitions and film screenings.  First held in 2006 to promote the conservation of migratory birds and to counteract the negative publicity they were receiving across the world, due to concerns about their role as potential vectors of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus subtype H5N1 – now commonly referred to as bird flu.  Since then World Migratory Bird Day has gained in popularity with over 2,000 events organized in over 100 countries since the campaign’s inception.

 

 

The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) — two intergovernmental wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)— organize the campaign in partnership with the Colorado-based non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).

www.worldmigratorybirdday.org

About the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals aims to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range. It is an intergovern-mental treaty concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. Since the Convention’s entry into force in 1979, its membership has grown steadily to include 131 Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

www.cms.int @bonnconvention

 

About the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds that migrate along the African-Eurasian Flyway. The Agreement covers 255 species of bird ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. The treaty covers 119 Range States from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia and Canada. 80 countries and the European Union have become a Contracting Party to the agreement.

www.unep-aewa.org  @UNEP_AEWA

Environment for the Americas (EFTA)

EFTA is a Colorado-based non-profit organization that provides bilingual educational materials and information about birds and bird conservation to raise awareness of migratory birds and to promote actions that protect migratory birds throughout the Americas.

https://www.environmentamericas.org/

 

For more information please contact:

Florian Keil, Information Officer, CMS and AEWA Secretariats in Bonn, Germany. Email: [email protected]  | Tel: +49 228 8152451

Susan Bonfield, Executive Director, Environment for the Americas, Boulder, CO, USA. Email: [email protected] | Tel: +001 970-393-1183

The Future of Packaging: Can a Shift in Product Design End the Plastic Waste Crisis?

 

More than 8m tonnes of plastic end up in oceans every year, so building a system that moves away from our ‘take, make, waste’ economy is crucial. We look at the possible iterations of a shower gel bottle to explore how a new economic model could be achieved

Picture this. You’re running low on shower gel and shampoo so on your next visit to the supermarket you head to the toiletries aisle and quickly scan what’s available. Instead of row upon row of colourful plastic bottles, this is what you see. A few plastic bottles, but not in the colours you’re used to – they’re mostly grey, with a few hints of colour here and there. Mostly, there are no bottles, though. Shower gels and shampoos in solid bar form are neatly packaged in cardboard boxes or available loose. There is also a stack of reusable containers sitting next to large dispensers of liquid soap and shampoo.

In a world increasingly wary of its plastic use, this is what shopping for personal care products could look like, and work is already underway to get us there. Across the board rooms, laboratories and factories of large consumer goods companies, important questions are being asked about their role in this shift. According to Leela Dilkes-Hoffman, senior research analyst for the New Plastics Economy initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which campaigns against waste, companies should ask themselves how to deliver products, rather than how to deliver packaging. “Can I do it in a solid tablet? Can I do it in a reusable bottle? Can I do it in a bottle that the user owns?” she says.

As the plastic waste crisis reaches new heights of urgency, elimination and reuse options for packaging will increasingly become part of the mix of strategies that companies are taking to become part of a circular plastics economy. More than 8m tonnes of the stuff finds its way into oceans every year, so building a system that moves away from our current, linear “take, make, waste” economy is crucial.

For the consumer goods company Henkel, which is behind familiar brands such as Right Guard and Sellotape, all strategies are on the table. While pilots for body care products sold in solid bar format, or refill solutions are ongoing, designing for recycling is equally a priority to help prevent further leakage of plastic waste into the oceans.

“We take responsibility for what we are putting on the market in terms of packaging design,” says Philippe Blank, head of circular economy and packaging sustainability at Henkel Beauty Care. “We need to design our products in the right way so that they can be recycled with existing waste management infrastructure.” Not an easy task given hugely varied systems across Europe and, indeed, the globe. “When you talk to experts within the industry,” he continues, “we all share the same high-level pain points when it comes to packaging recyclability.”

Looking at a typical bottle of shower gel helps to understand the complexity of the challenge.

In the absence of that product being sold in a solid state or as part of a refill system for the time being, let’s assume it still comes in a familiar squeezy bottle, with a flip-top cap. The cap might be made from a different type of plastic to the bottle, and the label could be yet another type. Although that bottle, when sent for recycling in a European country, can usually be recycled; because of the mix of plastics, the resulting reprocessed material is lower quality than if only one type of plastic was used. To create a robust market for recycled plastics and to reduce our dependence on fossil fuel-based virgin plastics, a higher-grade plastic is more desirable. “The recycler wants a very pure, uncontaminated material so he can sell it at a good price in the market,” explains Marilu Valente, an industrial designer based in Germany.

The other factor that means recycled plastic is less desirable is that it’s usually grey or opaque – the result of all our brightly coloured plastic bottles being reprocessed together. From a marketing point of view, incorporating this grey, recycled plastic back into typically colourful product packaging can be a challenge.

One solution is to design products that are made from a single plastic, in a single colour. Valente’s Nepenthes bottle, as well as ticking those two boxes, is also refillable. “It has raised a lot of attention in the market,” she says. Not just for the credentials just mentioned but for its design, which she thinks helps in raising awareness among consumers. It doesn’t have a cap, instead its flexible spout can be bent to plug the pouring hole. Blank agrees that a mono-material approach is key. “We need to design packaging in a way so that we use, in the best case, only one material,” he says.

In the meantime, to help packaging designers make informed choices, Henkel has developed its “design for recycling” software, EasyD4R. This tool is used at the beginning stages of product development, to check the recyclability of various materials. “This tool enables a quick assessment of whether the packaging in your hand, or a packaging concept, will be recyclable according to international standards,” says Colin Zenger, who leads on the development of the software at Henkel. In the spirit of collaboration and to share best practice among other companies, EasyD4R was released to download for free.

While it’s clear there is innovation happening behind the scenes in corporates such as Henkel, to address the challenges around recycling, there is still the small problem of the 150m tonnes of plastic that is already in the marine environment. The plastic being recovered by the social enterprise Plastic Bank, for example, which Henkel and other consumer goods companies partner with, will go on to be reprocessed into that grey or cloudy material we keep coming back to.

So for the time being, regardless of efforts to streamline plastic composition at the design and manufacturing stage, if we’re to incorporate more of the existing stuff into new products, will consumers need to get used to a more muted palette? “What is key, actually, from a brand owner perspective, is that we are opening up to grey as the new beauty,” says Blank.

Indeed, with Henkel’s target to reduce the amount of virgin plastics from fossil sources in consumer products by 50% – which will be achieved by increasing the proportion of recycled plastic to more than 30% – and for all packaging to be 100% recyclable by 2025, the beauty industry could start to look a lot more monochromatic. In the grand scheme of things, however, this seems a small price to pay for vibrant and clean oceans.

by Sarah LaBrecque

Illustration: Bee Johnson/Guardian

theguardian.com

 

Atlantic Ocean Contains More Plastic Than Previously Thought, According To Study

 

Microplastics come from a variety of sources, such as plastic fibers from synthetic textiles-AdobeStock

 

The Atlantic Ocean contains between 12–21 million tonnes of microplastic waste, much higher than previously determined, reports a new study published in Nature Communications.

Scientists assessed the abundance of polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene, the three most common commodity plastics that together make up over half of global plastic waste down to a depth of 200 meters. They quantified the contamination in samples collected at 12 locations along a 10,000 km north-south transect of the Atlantic Ocean, stretching from Southampton to the Falkland Islands.

Assessment of the ecological and environmental damages caused by accumulating microplastics are hampered by the lack of robust quantifications from the systems in which they accumulate, especially in remote locations like the oceans.

The term microplastics is used to describe small plastic pieces typically less than five millimeters in length, which can be extremely harmful to ocean and aquatic life. They come from a variety of sources, including the degradation of larger pieces of plastic, microbeads found in personal care products, plastic pellets (or nurdles) used in industrial manufacturing and plastic fibers used in synthetic textiles, like nylon.

“We had this fantastic opportunity to join the annual Atlantic Meridional Transect expedition to the South Atlantic,” Dr Katsiaryna Pabortsava, from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton and co-author of the paper told Forbes. “The whole point of the expedition is to collect biogeochemical data about how the oceans works, changing carbon dioxide levels and so on.”

At each of the locations, samples were collected from three depths below the ocean surface: 10 meters, 10–30 meters below the mixed layer of the ocean, and 100 meters below the intermediate sample (a total depth of 200 meters). Plastics were analyzed down to a resolution of 25 micrometres (one thousandth of a millimeter). In the near surface ocean, they detected up to 7,000 microplastic particles of these three polymer types (32–651 micrometres in size) per cubic meter of seawater.

Based on plastic waste generation trends from 1950–2015 (such as the research of Roland Geyer and Jenna Jambeck) and assuming that the Atlantic Ocean was consistently receiving a fraction of global plastic waste for 65 years, researchers estimated that the input of plastic to the Atlantic waters and sediments was 17–47 million tonnes. When the microplastic mass of just the three polymers sampled was combined with previously calculated marine plastic stocks, they found that the total mass of material currently present balances – or may even exceed – the estimated plastic input into the Atlantic since 1950.

“Previous papers have looked at coastal areas about 40 kilometers from shore and largely at municipal waste. But if you think about sources of plastic, there’s so much more than just municipal waste. So anything that is dumped at sea for example is not generally considered, anything that is brought by winds into the ocean hasn’t been considered as well,” Pabortsava said.

This isn’t the first time scientists have theorized that the problem is much worse than than previously thought. A short while ago, scientists trawled waters off the coasts of the UK and US using nets with a smaller mesh size than those generally used to filter microplastics and found the amount of particles much higher than expected. Concentrations could exceed 3,700 particles per cubic meter, that’s more than the number of zooplankton you would find.

Microplastic pollution has affected the whole planet, it has been found in Arctic snow to deep in the oceans. The particles can harbor toxic chemicals and harmful microbes and are known to harm some marine creatures. It is also known now that humans consume them via food and water and even inhalation.

A new study of five different kinds of seafood revealed traces of plastic in every sample tested. Researchers from the University of Queensland purchased raw samples of popular seafood from a local Brisbane market, including 10 oysters, 10 farmed tiger prawns, 10 wild squid, five wild blue crab and 10 wild sardines. At least trace levels of plastic contamination were found in each, with the highest content found in sardines, according to the research.

Moreover, microplastic and nanoplastic particles can now be detected in human organs for the first time as a result of a pioneering new technique. However, it’s unclear whether they actually are and the potential impact on human health is not yet fully understood.

Scott Snowden

forbes.com

 

 

Global Warming Shrinks Bird Breeding Windows, Potentially Threatening Species

Northern lapwings are breeding earlier and over a shorter period of time than 40 years ago.Mike Lane/Minden Pictures

For breeding birds, timing is everything. Most species have just a narrow window to get the food they need to feed their brood—after spring’s bounty has sprung, but before other bird species swoop in to compete. Now, a new study suggests that as the climate warms, birds are not only breeding earlier, but their breeding windows are also shrinking—some by as many as 4 to 5 days. This could lead to increased competition for food that might threaten many bird populations.

Birds typically time their breeding to cues signaling the start of spring, so that their chicks hatch when food like plants and insects is most abundant. But global warming has pushed many species to breed earlier in the year; that effect is especially prominent at higher latitudes, where temperatures are rising faster than near the equator. Few studies, however, have examined how climate change affects the duration of breeding windows, which closely track the number of chicks born each year as well as overall population trends.

To find out how the length of breeding periods has changed over time, a team led by Maria Hällfors, an ecologist at the University of Helsinki, analyzed an extensive data set from amateur ornithologists coordinated by the Finnish Museum of Natural History. The data set spans from 1975 to 2017 and includes the nesting records of 73 species and more than 820,000 birds from a 1000-square-kilometer area in Finland’s boreal forests. Each year, trained volunteers placed uniquely numbered rings around the legs of newly hatched chicks to track their movements and survival. Because chicks had to be a certain size to get a ring, the researchers were able to use the timing of the tagging to work out when each chick had hatched—and therefore when breeding had occurred.

On average, the beginnings and ends of the breeding periods are occurring earlier in the year, Hällfors and colleagues report today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. However, the ends are shifting back faster than the beginnings, resulting in an average breeding window that is 1.7 days shorter in 2017 than it was in 1975. During that same period, Finland’s average temperature rose by 0.8oC, suggesting many bird species are actively responding to changing temperatures, Hällfors says.

It’s good for the species if it’s able to follow the optimum conditions as the climate changes,” she says. However, the shorter breeding windows mean more birds are breeding earlier in the season—a risky time for chicks’ survival, especially if the weather turns suddenly cold. In addition, because many late-season species are shifting their breeding windows up, that could mean more competition for food and nesting sites early on, leaving some chicks to go hungry. Although the researchers were unable to tease out overall population trends from their data set, Hällfors expects these shifts will have a large impact on bird numbers, with some species outcompeting others.

Lucyna Halupka, an ecologist at the University of Wrocław, calls the study “a very important paper” because it’s one of the few to measure the breeding period duration. For 2 decades, she says, many scientists studying birds and climate change have looked only at the earliest, median, or mean laying dates for specific groups of birds. However, she cautions that because the study is limited to Finland, the findings may not apply universally; future studies should examine how breeding seasons move in other regions where the effect of climate change is different. They should also try to determine how shifting breeding windows affect population sizes, she says.

For Hällfors, the new findings illustrate the power of long-term data sets. “Imagine the bird-ringing ornithologists in the 1970s,” she says. “They probably couldn’t have imagined that their data would be used in 2020 to look at climate change.” It’s also a valuable addition to other ongoing climate change research, says conservation biologist Stuart Butchart of BirdLife International. “Many people still think of climate change as a problem that’s going to arise in the future,” he says. “This is another study showing that entire communities of species have already shown substantial responses to climate change over recent decades.”

By Charlotte Hartley

sciencemag.org

Via Pontica Foundation Is Actively Involved in the Campaign to Clean the Wetlands around Burgas

 

 

On July 17, 2020, the team of the Via Pontica Foundation took part in a cleaning campaign in the area of Lake Vaya, the Gorno Ezerovo neighborhood and other wetlands around the city of Burgas. The campaign is implemented within the project “Joint cross-border initiatives for reduction of marine litter in Aegean and Black Sea (Seas without waste)”, funded by the cross-border cooperation programme Interreg – IPA Bulgaria-Turkey 2014-2020.

The project aims at contributing to the effectiveness of the measures taken by authorities to address the issue of marine litter, as common challenge in the environmental protection of the Black and Aegean Seas.
The activities planned within the project include investment works for waste cleaning of Vaya Lake flowing in Black Sea and elimination of the landfill in the area of channel. A number of campaigns aiming at cleaning up marine litter and increasing public involvement in the problems of protecting the sea from pollution and improving the environment are envisaged.

 

Within the project a collection of good practices for waste management of wetlands and marine litter prevention, separate waste collection systems in European Union and Bulgaria, legislation and application of legislation will be presented.

 

 

In line with the work of the Via Pontica Foundation on the project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020” and as part of the cooperation at the local institutional level, the team of the Foundation supports the partners from the District Administration of Burgas and will be happy to join the upcoming initiatives dedicated to the reduction of marine litter and cleaning of wetlands around Burgas and polluted areas on the southern Black Sea coast.

Car Tyres Are Major Source of Ocean Microplastics – Study

Wind-borne microplastics are a bigger source of ocean pollution than rivers, say scientists

 

Traffic on a motorway. An average tyre loses 4kg during its lifetime, according to Andreas Stohl, from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

More than 200,000 tonnes of tiny plastic particles are blown from roads into the oceans every year, according to research.

The study suggests wind-borne microplastics are a bigger source of ocean pollution than rivers, the route that has attracted most attention to date. The analysis focused on the tiny particles produced by tyres and brake pads as they wear down.

It estimated that 550,000 tonnes of particles smaller than 0.01mm are deposited each year, with almost half ending up in the ocean. More than 80,000 tonnes fall on remote ice- and snow-covered areas and may increase melting as the dark particles absorb the sun’s heat.

Microplastic pollution has polluted the entire planet, from Arctic snow and Alpine soils to the deepest oceans. The particles can harbour toxic chemicals and harmful microbes and are known to harm some marine creatures. People are also known to consume them via food and water, and to breathe them, But the impact on human health is not yet known.

Earlier work suggested microplastic particles could be blown across the world, but the new study is the first to quantify the effect. The scientists concentrated on fine tyre and brake dust as there is better data on how these are produced than tiny microplastics from other sources, such as plastic bottles and packaging.

Roads are a very significant source of microplastics to remote areas, including the oceans,” said Andreas Stohl, from the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, who led the research. He said an average tyre loses 4kg during its lifetime. “It’s such a huge amount of plastic compared to, say, clothes,” whose fibres are commonly found in rivers, Stohl said. “You will not lose kilograms of plastic from your clothing.”

Airborne transport has received much less attention than rivers because only the smallest particles can be blown by the wind and their size makes them difficult to identify as plastic. “The really small particles are probably the most important in terms of health and ecological consequences because you can inhale them and the very small particles can probably also enter your blood vessels,” Stohl said.

The research, published in the journal Nature Communications, used two methods to estimate the amount of fine particles shed by tyres and brakes. The team then used well-established atmospheric circulation models to assess how they are blown around the globe.

Stohl acknowledges significant uncertainties in the data, such as how rapidly the particles fall to the ground in rain. The study suggests the finest particles can remain airborne for a month. But he is confident the results are the right order of magnitude. The next step is to accelerate development of measurement techniques for fine particles so that real-world samples can be checked.

Deonie Allen, at the University of Strathclyde in Scotland, and not part of the research team, said: “This very well conducted research shows there is an awful lot of microplastic pollution coming from sources that most people have never even thought of. This is one of the first long-distance transport modelling papers and it shows how far these pollutants can move and how important the atmosphere is at part of the plastic pollution cycle.”

Erik van Sebille, at Utrecht University in the Netherlands, said: “The study shows how interconnected pristine remote areas are with what we’re doing in our cities and on our roads.” Sebille studies microplastic flows in the oceans and is planning to work with Stohl’s group to develop a global picture of plastic pollution, which will help determine how best to tackle the problem.

We should be concerned,” he said. “We don’t still know really what the harm is of all these microplastics, but the precautionary principle says that we had better be careful and safe about these things.

Stohl said the issue of tyre and brake pollution is likely to get worse before it gets better as electric cars become more common: “Electric cars are normally heavier than internal combustion engine cars. That means more wear on tyres and brakes.”

Reducing microplastic pollution from vehicles is difficult, he said: “The manufacturers will have to respond somehow, if this really becomes a matter of concern.” In the meantime, Stohl said people should reduce the use of plastics they can do without and ensure the rest is recycled.

theguardian.com

Computer Model of the Movement of Floating Litter in the Black Sea Was Presented at a Forum in Pomorie

 

The team of the Via Pontica Foundation took part in a working meeting of stakeholders on “Pollution of Lake Pomorie with Litter”, organized under the project “Environmental awareness and behavior to stop pollution in significant wetlands of the Black Sea basin (BioLEARN)”, funded by the Black Sea Basin Joint Operational Program 2014-2020 (ENI CBC Joint Operational Program BLACK SEA BASIN 2014-2020). The event took place on June 30 at 10:00 am in the Svetlina Community Center, Pomorie.

The main goal of the meeting was to acquaint and involve stakeholders and the public in the search for a solution to the problem of litter pollution in significant wetlands of the Black Sea basin. The workshop provided an opportunity to engage the general public and management institutions in support of research aimed at reducing pollution of coastal wetlands with waste.

Experts from various fields related to the management and protection of the environment and waste, maritime transport, fisheries, science, non-governmental and environmental organizations, citizens, students and others exchanged experience and data at the meeting.

Project Coordinator of the Via Pontica Foundation, Ana Yancheva, together with Professor Dr. Miroslav Tsvetkov and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniela Toneva presented identified hotspots and work in progress on the computer-modeled map to a project “Innovative Techniques and Methods for Reducing Marine Litter in the Black Sea Coastal Areas”, priority 2.2. “Awareness Raising and Joint Actions for Reducing River and Marine Litter”, Joint Operational Programme “Black Sea Basin 2014-2020” database.

A new meeting and a mobile exhibition are forthcoming, set as part of the project activities.

 

 

 

 

Via Pontica Foundation and Eco Park for Biodiversity and Alternative Tourism “Vaya” Focused on Closeness to Nature

 

Via Pontica Foundation and Ecopark for Biodiversity and Alternative Tourism “Vaya” took part in the presentation of a mobile exhibition dedicated to the green spaces of Burgas. 300 photos took part in the photo contest “Burgas in Unison with Nature”, which was organized by National Community Center “Izgrev” on the occasion of European Year of Greener Cities 2020 and within the third edition of “Izgrev Park Fest”.

 

 

A competent jury selected the best 30 photos, which are printed on canvases and can be seen in a mobile exhibition. Of these, the best 6 were determined as winners of the competition.

 

 

On June 5, when was the World Environment Day, the opening of the photo exhibition took place in Izgrev Park, and throughout the month the audience has the opportunity to see it in ten open spaces of the Burgas complexes, presented by local community centers, active participants in Izgrev Park fest.

 

 

Via Pontica Foundation and Ecopark for Biodiversity and Alternative Tourism “Vaya” took an active part in the presentation of a mobile exhibition dedicated to green spaces in Dolno Ezerovo, Burgas. The event took place in the National Community Center “Prosveta 1927”.

 

 

We thank the organizers for the invitation and we are glad that we fit so well into the presented topic – “Burgas in Unison with Nature”. We enjoyed increased interest from young fans of nature and biodiversity in the region. And in this way, each of us, aware of his/her responsibility, becomes an ambassador for a “greener” future.