Marine litter is one of the main threats to ocean conservation

The Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències and the Oceanogràfic of Valencia joined the LIBERA projectby SEO/BirdLife in partnership with Ecoembes, in a special action on the occasion of world oceans day. Specifically, one of the Oceanogràfic aquariums with marine litter was presented and the exhibition was inaugurated at the Museu de les Ciències in Valencia Stop garbage. This initiative aims to raise awareness of the problem of ‘nonsense’ and encourage citizen participation in its prevention and solution.

Since the Project’s inception in 2017, LIBERA has focused much of its efforts on helping to generate more accurate knowledge about this issue. Thanks to the work of thousands of volunteers, 1,214 transects were characterized along the Spanish coast and 282,571 objects were registered using citizen science tools.

Various plastics, cigarette butts, bags and beverage bottles are the most common waste found on our beaches.

Pieces of plastic smaller than 2.5 cm, cigarette butts, pieces of plastic larger than 2.5 cm, beverage bags and bottles are the five most common types of waste found on our beaches.

O microplastics (plastic fragments between 1 μm or micron and 5mm) are among the main residues found on beaches. It also happens at the national level: the The Mediterranean is considered the sixth most polluted area from the planet.

Parallel to the generation of knowledge, the LIBERA Project has published several reports with the aim of bringing to the public the advances in national and international research on the problem of garbage.

On this occasion, it publishes a new document focused on marine ‘trash’. with the title Impact of garbage on seas and oceans provides up-to-date data that demonstrate the magnitude of this problem. Thanks to the work of many research centers, we now know that between 4.8 and 12.7 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans annually, resulting in the presence of more than 100 million macroplastic particles It is 51 trillion microplastic particles floating on the surface of the oceans.

Microplastics (plastic fragments between 1 μm and 5mm) are one of the main residues found on beaches

This is a global problem that also affects the world’s seas and oceans. As the report points out, “the Mediterranean Sea holds only 1% of the world’s water and the 7% of global microplastics”. Another 2020 study concluded that all this litter “directly affects 914 species (seabirds, mammals, turtles, fish and invertebrates) through entanglement and/or ingestion.” We can also find out how this waste ends up in our seas and oceans.

Making the problem of marine litter visible

The action carried out at Oceanogràfic intends to give visibility to the problem of marine litter, but also convey a message of hope, reminding visitors that they can be part of the solution.

“Our biggest driver for putting an end to garbage is to make society aware of the impact it causes on the environment. Based on this awareness, it is possible to advance in solutions, which are the responsibility of each one to rethink the production and consumption model that we have and that we must change”, he explains. Frederico Garcia, Responsible for the Social Area of ​​SEO/BirdLife.

“The best waste is the one that is not produced. We have to be aware of the amount of waste we generate and that we must reduce; and then demand a circular economy that allows them to become a source of resources”, adds.

The best waste is the one that is not produced. We have to be aware of the amount of waste we generate and that we must reduce; and demand a circular economy

Federico Garcia, SEO/BirdLife

In addition, this Thursday the exhibition was inaugurated stop garbage, which will be open to the public until September 17, and whose aim is to show the devastating impact of the trash in natural spaces and to raise awareness of the importance of prevention against it from the individual to companies, public administration, education or local organizations, thanks to which LIBERA manages to take measures to prevent and reduce this problem.

Through this exhibition at the Museo de les Ciències de Valencia and the action at Oceanogràfic, the LIBERA Project and its collaborators seek to mobilize society to join the fight against this phenomenon and promote a positive change in public awareness and waste management, both individually and collectively.

snow kingDirector of Communication and Marketing at Ecoembes, highlights: “The trash poses a significant threat to our oceans and their biodiversity. It is essential that we are aware of the importance of keeping our seas clean and promoting sustainable practices in our daily lives.”


Suaria G. et al. The Mediterranean Plastic Soup: Synthetic polymers in Mediterranean surface waters. Scientific Reports (2016)

Susanne Kühn, Jan Andries van Franeker. Quantitative overview of marine debris ingested by marine megafauna. Marine Pollution Bulletin (2020)

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