THE recent environmental crisis on the shores of northern Spain, marked by the spill of plastic pellets into the ocean, has prompted immediate action from authorities in Gibraltar and Malaga. 

Gibraltar’s Department of the Environment has intensified its coastal monitoring following the discovery of these pellets on Bolonia beach in nearby Tarifa. 

This response comes in the wake of the significant spill from the ship ‘El Toconao,’ which lost up to six containers carrying 26 tonnes of plastic pellets off the coast of Galicia on December 8, 2023.

Concerns have risen about whether the pellets found in Bolonia originate from this major spill, as their composition seems to match. 

Level 2 emergency is declared over millions of pellets of PLASTIC washing up on beaches in Spain
Level 2 emergency is declared over millions of pellets of PLASTIC washing up on beaches in Spain

The pellets, about 4mm in diameter, are materials used in making various plastic products, including bags and packaging. 

Their presence in marine environments is particularly troubling due to their non-biodegradable nature, posing a significant threat to wildlife and ecosystems. 

These pellets are known to accumulate in marine animals such as fish and mollusks, leading to potential ingestion by humans.

The Environmental Protection and Research Unit (EPRU) in Gibraltar has been actively involved in monitoring the situation. 

Members of the public are being encouraged to report any sightings of these pellets to the EPRU team at +350 58009620. 

This incident has underscored the urgent need for coordinated efforts in addressing plastic pollution in marine environments.

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