Barcelona, June 6, 2023.
80% of the waste collected in the beach cleanups organized by REFIX are wet wipes, since they contain synthetic materials and chemical additives that make them extremely resistant and durable, making them a true nightmare for marine ecosystems.
The problem with these products is that many people, due to ignorance or lack of awareness, flush the wet wipes down the toilet. While they may seem harmless, they don't actually disintegrate like toilet paper, but persist for decades. Once they are flushed down the toilet, they travel through pipes and sewage systems to end up at wastewater treatment plants. That is where the first problem is encountered: its composition is not completely dissolved during the filtration process, which results in clogging of the pipes. The second problem is that not all the wipes manage to be captured in the treatment plants and many of them end up in the ocean, forming islands that float on the water and becoming a serious problem for marine life. Marine animals such as turtles, birds, fish and even mammals can ingest them or become entangled in them, causing injuries, suffocation and even death. In addition, they especially contribute to the pollution of beaches and coasts. The Galician brand REFIX, whose main element is seawater from the Costa da Morte, with its REFIX THE OCEAN initiative, is carrying out a campaign to clean beaches throughout the peninsula. An initiative that, they say from the brand, has come to stay as part of their identity. After carrying out several beach cleanings in Barcelona and A Coruña, with dozens of volunteers and collecting more than 220kg of garbage, they have come face to face with the problems that wet wipes cause on the coast and in the marine ecosystem in general. . "At first we thought they were fishing nets that had been trapped between the rocks" -says Paula, one of the volunteers -"when we understood that they were wet wipes that were attached to each other, we couldn't believe it. Many times We flush make-up remover wipes down the toilet with no idea what that means." Almost 80% of the waste collected in the beach cleanups organized by REFIX is wet wipes. Due to its composition of synthetic materials and chemical additives, they do not disintegrate easily. It takes decades for a wet wipe to fully break down, and its breakdown time is significantly longer when in water. In addition, wipes break down into microplastics, small particles that can persist in the aquatic environment for much longer and have a negative and irreversible impact on both marine life and human health. "It is necessary to promote social awareness campaigns and promote more sustainable alternatives to certain products. Participating in this type of activity is a good way to raise awareness and see with your own eyes the serious problem we are facing" -says María Ares, the person in charge of the REFIX THE OCEAN campaign- "from that moment on, it is impossible to keep looking the other way" -he adds.
Contact Contact name: María Contact description: María Contact telephone number: 647063929