30% of Panama’s garbage dumped in ocean

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THIRTY PERCENT   of the garbage  produced each day   in Panama City, ends up being dumped in the ocean. , according to the United Nations Program for the Environment (UNEP) and the Ministry of the Environment.

That amounts to 700 tons, the  majority of which   is plastic, an element that  moves back into the food chain and takes 400 years to decompose .

Experts in marine biology and oceanography argue that thewaste poses a threat to fish and crustaceans.

In response to the major environmental problem, the Water Resources Authority has created a marine research center to study the effects of plastic and other substances, such as pesticides, on marine species.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of the Environment is working on legislation to confront the daily dumping of  garbage into  the sea.

According to UNEP data, each year about 8 million tons of plastic end up in the ocean

This poses a risk to humans because the contaminants can end up in fish eaten by people.

A recent study of shorebirds found that 90 percent of those found dead had plastic in their stomachs. A similar study of sea turtles found the same result.

“The problem of plastic is very serious, as when it degrades it begins producing biphenyl, a chemical that poses a danger to humans  said scientist Edison Barbieri.

“We are part of the ecosystem, and if it is not directly affecting us, it certainly is indirectly,” said the oceanographer.

He said that increasing recycling would be the quickest way to address the problem.