At BUFF®, our goal is to protect what we love, and the Mediterranean is a symbol for what we love most. The deep blues of the Mediterranean Sea reflect our passion for nature and its beauty and power have inspired people the world over. But, right now, in common with all the world’s oceans, it is under threat. Plastic pollution is destroying marine life, polluting our coastlines and creating an environmental crisis that calls for all of us to take action.
The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea and, according to the World Wildlife Fund, every day 730 tons of waste are dumped directly into the Mediterranean, and every year a further 11,200 tons of plastics dumped in the environment find their way into the water. Plastics make up 95% of the waste in the Mediterranean, a sea that holds only 1% of the world’s waters yet 7% of global microplastics. With no changes to current production, consumption, or plastic waste management, by 2040 almost 30 million metric tons of plastic will end up in the world’s oceans per year. The time to act is NOW and, in that spirit, BUFF®, as part of their partnership with EOCA, is supporting the Save The Med Foundation and their Dos Manos project.
A grassroots organization formed by a team of professionals and volunteers to regenerate the Mediterranean, Save The Med aims to remove plastic waste from 527km2 of water and coastline and encourage everyone who takes part to reflect on how we can replace or re-use plastic and prevent it from ending up in the sea. We share their belief that it is vital to involve future generations in tackling the problem of plastic pollution. Today’s children have been born into the reality of climate change; for them it’s the biggest threat to their future and one that they will need all the tools possible at their disposal to combat.
The Future is in our hands
The DOS MANOS project inspires and empowers students with educational workshops, beach clean-ups and marine science expeditions, during which they learn first-hand the scale of the problem. Plastic pollution is harming every living creature in the sea and marine birds including the endangered Balearic Shearwater. Sea turtles are a fundamental link in marine ecosystems, helping to maintain the health of the seagrass bed and coral reefs, but 99% of the turtles beached or rescued in the Balearics are affected by plastic pollution either through ingestion or entanglement. Sea turtles in various forms have existed for the last 100 million years and yet 6 out of 10 species are now under threat of extinction.
By supporting programs that use marine science to analyze the impact of pollution, we aim to broaden people’s understanding of the connectivity between our behavior and the environment and our collective responsibility for it. At BUFF® we have long been committed to a circular economy; each of our products and production processes are designed and created to minimize environmental risks. We are constantly challenging ourselves to make our products more sustainable. Over 50% of the entire SS21 collection is made from recycled materials, a figure that will only increase in the future. To date we have re-used over 8 million plastic bottles in our products.
“Every victory against plastic begins with a single person or group of people deciding that the time to take action is now.” ~ Will McCallum, Greenpeace
The problem of ocean plastic pollution was created in a lifetime: the first plastics only appeared in the 1950s and it was not until the 1970s that the soft drinks industry began to use the now ubiquitous plastic bottle. But there is reason to believe that it can also be solved within a generation – or sooner. We need to protect the things we love, to be proactive, to DO MORE. According to the influential Pew Report, ‘Breaking the Plastic Wave’, with the kind of real systemic change that we and many other companies are committed to, the flow of plastic into the oceans could be reduced by 80% in the next twenty years.
In supporting the Dos Manos project, we are putting our faith in a better future, one with less plastic and clean, blue seas on the horizon. Together we can all preserve the Mediterranean so that it remains the symbol of the place we love and a small part of a much bigger story of ocean life across the planet.