Professor Dr. Turgut Tuzun Onay: “Waste ear sticks can turn into microplastics and enter the human body”

Bogazisi University Institute of Environmental Sciences Director Prof. Dr. Turgut Tuzun Onaye said that the ear buds could reach the sea from the sewerage network and could turn into microplastics year after year due to their light weight and small size.

According to the “Turkish Coastal Waste Analysis Report” prepared in 2019 by the WWF-Turkey (World Wildlife Fund) with the support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Turkey Network (UNSDSN Turkey) under the auspices of the University of Bogazy. In the Mediterranean, which is the fourth largest producer of plastic waste, 95 percent of waste is made of plastic.

Within the scope of the report, according to the spring and summer investigations on Turkish polymer waste, 41 percent of the waste on the coast is cigarette butts, 28 percent bags, 13 percent caps and rings, 10 percent sponges and 5 percent plastic bottles. It contains 2% cord and 1% ear sticks.

Winter waste includes 55% bags, 25% caps and rings, 5% cord, 4% plastic bottles, 4% butts, 4% sponges and 4% waste. Cotton buds have been on the list of the 10 most common plastic pollutants on UK beaches for the past 25 years, according to a study by Federer, a Scotland-based environmental organization from an ear stick. In an activity conducted by the UK-based Marine Conservation Society in 2018, volunteer participants found 21 ear sticks per 100 meters to clean a beach longer than 15 kilometers, while the number has risen to 36 on the Scottish coast.

Their study concludes that 1 billion 800 million ear canes are used annually, the British government banned the use of ear canes until October 1, 2020.

Scientists warn that light and small disposable plastics, such as ear buds, which are more at risk of turning into microplastics by sunlight and friction, could be dangerous to human health because they do not sink to the beach.

“Plastic used alone causes serious problems”

Commenting on plastics and disposable plastics, Professor. Dr. Turgut Tuzun Onaye said that the production of plastics in the world started in the 1950s and so far about 100 billion tons have been produced.

The approval emphasizes that about 90 percent of these plastics produced cannot be recovered, which is a very serious problem. “There are about 300 types of plastics, 60 of which are widely used in everyday life,” he said.Unfortunately, many of these materials are made with petroleum derivatives. They do not degrade nature and they permanently have very negative consequences for our environment. ” He said.

It should be noted that about 40% of the plastics used in the world are single-use plastics, which continue to be as follows:

“Plastic forks, knives, spoons, wet wipes, straws, cotton ear buds, plastic bags … the world has banned it, especially in the European Union in 2019, the use of such materials was banned, and measures based on more specific and more serious countries. “Most of these terrestrial products are produced, non-recoverable, and due to the environmental impact, most of them reach the water source and ocean through rain, wind and this creates a very serious situation.” Environmental issues, especially for aquatic organisms. “

100 million earrings are used and discarded every week

Among the disposable plastics, due to the small and light weight of the earrings, special attention should be paid, he said:

“By one estimate, about 100 million earrings are used and discarded every week in our country. These are usually dumped in the toilets and end up in the sewer network. We don’t dispose of them properly at home. We use them. And they Discharge into sewer systems. Since these are lightweight components, we get rid of grids and other treatment units, even in treatment plants. “These materials can easily reach the sea. Since these elements are light, they do not sink to the bottom. They can hang and sway on the surface of the ocean or a few centimeters below the ocean surface and carry around with the waves. Danger comes from here. “

Infection of the human body from seafood

Explaining that this type of plastic can be mistaken for bait and can be swallowed by marine animals, continue as follows:

“Thus, it primarily harms marine animals as they approach them, and as humans eat marine animals, microplastics can accumulate in various parts of our bodies to an extent that can lead to very serious health problems. Can cause and affect health. Of course, this is a problem caused by eating sea animals. “

Professor Dr. The approval states that single-use plastics such as straws and ear buds should be banned and that alternatives to these products may be created.

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