Plas­tic with your salt

Costa Blanca News (South Edition) - - News - Djones@cb­

By Dave Jones A STUDY has re­vealed the pres­ence of mi­croplas­tics in ta­ble salt ex­tracted from the seas around Spain.

The re­port has been pub­lished by three sci­en­tists from the chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing department of Ali­cante Univer­sity.

They note that mi­croplas­tics are small plas­tic pieces less than five mil­lime­tres long which can be harm­ful to aquatic life and the seas in gen­eral.

The sci­en­tists stud­ied sam­ples taken from salt works in Gali­cia, Huelva, Cádiz, Barcelona, Girona, Va­len­cia, Mur­cia, Menorca, La Palma and Lan­zarote, with their anal­y­sis car­ried out be­tween Septem­ber last year and June.

They found that all the salt con­tained mi­croplas­tics, with lev­els rang­ing from be­tween 60 to 280 mi­cropar­ti­cles per kilo.

The sea salt pro­duc­tion method is one that has been been used for hundreds of years and which sees wa­ter taken from the sea and left to evap­o­rate in the sun, leav­ing crys­talised salt.

The Ali­cante sci­en­tists María Íñiguez, Juan Conesa and An­drés Ful­lana - noted that their study proves that the seas are ‘deeply con­tam­i­nated’ by plas­tics.

It backs up re­search car­ried out in China in 2015 which also found mi­croplas­tics in sea salt from that area.

Ecol­o­gists have been warn- ing for years over the thou­sands of tonnes of plas­tics which end up in the seas each day and the dam­age this is caus­ing, par­tic­u­larly to whales, dol­phins and tur­tles.

Sci­en­tists have cal­cu­lated that be­tween 4.8 and 12.7 mil­lion tonnes of plas­tics end up in the sea each year.

The Ali­cante study may en­cour­age con­sumers to pur­chase salt which orig­i­nates from ‘in­land’ la­goons such as those in Tor­re­vieja and Santa Pola.

Tor­re­vieja salt works launched a cam­paign ear­lier this year with the coali­tion coun­cil to pro­mote the sale of its prod­uct, which pre­vi­ously had not been widely avail­able in Spain as much of the salt went to north­ern Europe to be used on win­ter roads.

They noted that Tor­re­vieja ta­ble salt is now avail­able in lo­cal su­per­mar­kets such as Car­refour. The prod­uct’s la­bel in­cludes a logo for ‘Sali­nas de Tor­re­vieja’ and also La Mata-Tor­re­vieja nat­u­ral park.

Ta­ble salt ex­tracted from Tor­re­vieja's la­goon could now be in de­mand af­ter mi­croplas­tics were found in sea salt

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