Have you ever wondered where the top of the pen ends up when it runs out of ink? Much of the plastic that we consume everyday ends up in rivers and even reach the sea through water drainage systems and trash dumps.
In Costa Rica, roughly 110 tons of plastic end up in rivers and on beaches everyday, according to 2015 data from the Health Ministry. It’s like if we released nine buses full of plastic near our most precious water sources.
Marine species confuse plastic with food. Plastic bags, toothbrushes, lighters, straws, pen caps and other small objects are the ones most ingested by birds, fish and turtles, according to data from the non-governmental organization Marviva, which fights against marine pollution and illegal fishing.
Larger pieces of plastic kill birds, fish and marine mammals when they ingest them or get stuck in them. But not only animals are harmed. Microparticles that marine fauna consume end up back on our tables at some point, in the form of fried fish or a good seafood platter.