Every time we go sailing in front of the Barcelona coast we see single use plastic bags at sea floating. Plastic floating around is never a nice view for me and the tourists. We try to fish the plastic bag up, interestingly most people are excited to catch it. Naturally it must feel good to remove something from nature that doesn’t below there.
It surprises me that the same people go shopping and come out with single use plastic bags, single use water bottles and single use coffee cups in their hands. I see a disconnect between the two actions: 1.) cleaning the sea and 2.) an hour later buying single use plastics. It is bringing the plastic to the sea and later fish it out during a sail tour.
That is why we started plastic fishing events in 2018 to create awareness and make people conscious about the daily activities. It is an uphill battle, and it is not because people do not want it. Changing habits is very tough.
BarcelonaSail is not against plastic, it is a fantastic technology that brings products within our reach. Your computer, mobile phone, scooter, bike, cars, clothes all contain plastic that makes the product economically affordable. We understand that plastic has a place in our society.
Single use plastic bags however are unnecessary products and should not exist in the first place. The energy that goes into these bags that we use for no more than 12 minutes is simply a waste. Buy your own multi use bag, show your identity with your own bag.
In the United States people on average use 365 single use bags per year per person. Or about half a trillion single use bags per year. In Denmark that number is 4 single use bags per year per person. How is that possible? Both western developed countries with a high service level and a single use bag difference of 361!
The difference between the United states and Denmark shows an enormous difference in attitude and awareness. Denmark started in the late 90 ties with an 50 cents taxation on single use plastic bags. Apparently that is all it needs to change people mindset and lifestyle. Now supermarkets promote using multi use bags with a discount for consumers bringing their own multi use bags.
And Spain, any one? In Spain we consume about 150 single use plastic bags per person per year. That is 146 more than the people from Denmark, causing plastic pollution at sea that is not necessary.
BarcelonaSail developed together with Loquiz a plastic awareness game application that we will roll out in the next months. The game is to help people becoming more aware and conscious about single plastics. This highly competitive application can be played on Android and Ois and is available from April 2019.
We hope to find less single use plastic bags at sea and more public awareness on plastic pollution in the Mediterranean.