Monday, 02 December 2019 09:58

The Loro Parque Foundation inaugurates a sculpture to raise awareness against plastic

Source: EFE.

The Loro Parque Foundation has, this Thursday, presented a sculpture created from waste collected from various parts of the archipelago to highlight the "serious problem" caused by plastics in the environment and to raise public awareness.

The sculpture, created by Paolo Bonao and inspired by the Gran Canarian artist Néstor Martín-Fernández de la Torre, is in keeping with The Loro Parque Foundation's policy of raising awareness about caring for the environment, as well as the need to reduce the use of plastics in the daily lives of citizens and institutions.

The sculpture consists mainly of cans and plastic bottles and bottle-tops that were collected by students from various educational centres during the campaign ‘Bye Bye Plastic’, promoted by The Loro Parque Foundation in collaboration with the University of La Laguna (ULL).

The President of The Loro Parque Foundation, Christoph Kiessling, invited the 500 attendees at the event in the Paraninfo of the ULL to reflect on some data, such as the fabrication every minute around the world of a million plastic bottles, enough to surround the whole island of Tenerife.

Or the fact that, after one year, there would be more than 500,000 million plastic bottles which, he added, could cover half the distance that separates our planet from the sun.

Kiessling lamented that only seven percent of the plastic used by humans is recycled, which means, among other things, that the dumping of the remaining plastic harms marine biodiversity in particular and animal species that have lived on the planet for millions of years.

Kiessling continued, informing those present that it’s a plastic that does not disappear, but "changes shape" to microplastics that enter the food chain when consumed by different species and thus reach citizens around the world "we each eat five grams of plastic a week," he affirmed.

"We are the only species that destroys their habitat.  By 2050, there will be more plastic in the waters than fish.  We are living through a sixth mass extinction of animal species “we are putting an end to everything," warned Kiessling.

The rector of the University of La Laguna, Rosa Aguilar, said that ‘Bye Bye Plastic’ is "one more link" in the collaborative chain maintained by the University with The Loro Parque Foundation, an initiative that, she has added, promotes "intense" plastic cleaning campaigns in the oceans.

The ULL implements this type of collaboration, said Aguilar, with the objective of promoting the "development" and "well-being" of the community through its "areas of experience" and its commitment to sustainability.

"These are not empty words: in our Government plan, which will soon be made available to the public, there are no less than 18 measures directly related to sustainability," stressed the rector.

Victoria Martín, professor of the Department of Botany at the ULL, underscored the impact of human actions such as the dumping of plastics on the natural environment, underlining the total number of land species present in the Canary Islands in the wild (15,972) and marine species (7,007).

The total sum of them, the professor pointed out, does not touch the 28,000 endangered species that populate the entire planet "it is as if all the species that surround us were in danger," she said.

This deterioration in global biodiversity, Martín has added, is largely due to two factors: the fragmentation of terrestrial and marine habitats caused mainly by population growth, and the establishment of exotic species in certain habitats.

The event was also attended by, amongst others, the Vice-President of the Cabildo de Tenerife, Enrique Arriaga; the Mayor of La Laguna, Luis Yeray Gutiérrez, and the General Director of the Infrastructures and Educational Promotion Centres of the Government of the Canary Islands, Maria Candelaria González.

All of them agreed on the important role that public institutions play in this matter, as well as the individual actions of each citizen and the involvement of the new generations fundamentally through correct education in this field.  EFE