December 9, 2022

News 24a

News that matters

Romania at PET. The plastic islands in the “Carpathian delta”, where half of the locals throw their trash where they can

PRO TV news presents the Romania to PET campaign, through which we reveal how the irresponsible and illegal way in which waste is managed can make us sick.

Plastic becomes microplastic and enters a circuit in the food chain – tiny particles enter the water table and the tissues of living things that we then consume.

This first-of-its-kind journalistic endeavor is based on eloquent laboratory analysis.

There are many places in the country where, for years, city officials have been illegally getting rid of waste. Communities where even the locals do not have sanitation contracts, although they produce garbage daily. Romania gathers more and more sources through which microplastic is integrated into nature and invades our lives.

Read also

recycling Romania

The municipality does not fine those who throw away waste

I found such a case in a protected area in Brașov county. The big surprise is at the laboratory, where you can clearly see what we can’t see with the naked eye: discarded plastic ends up everywhere.

This is what an ecological disaster looks like in Brașov County, within the reach of Dumbrăvița commune. In the height of summer, with high heat, the Homorod river is choked with PETs and foul-smelling waste.

Everything happens on the outskirts of the town, in what specialists and local people call the “Carpathian delta”, an area with lakes, specific fauna and flora, towards which the plastic island is heading. Further, the Homorod flows into the Olt river.

Rareş Năstase: ”The river runs through the community and also receives two other smaller tributaries, so the sea of ​​PETs is the result of everything that is dumped on the route. I called the Environmental Guard to the scene, and the commissioners summoned the deputy mayor and the representative of a company to pick up the waste.

What neither the commissioners nor the people of the town hall see is that closer to the spilling of the Homorod into the floodplain, then in Olt, there is a threshold where a second island of PETs has formed, twice as big as the first.

It can only be observed with a drone, because the river’s banks are covered with very thick vegetation and it is surrounded by a marshy perimeter, impossible to walk on foot. By default, a place from which it is difficult, if not impossible, to pick up waste“.

The deputy mayor is realistic. He admits that in the locality there are no fines for throwing away waste, but also that only half of the households have signed contracts with the sanitation company, for garbage collection.

Viorel Lucian Negrei, the deputy mayor of Dumbrăvița commune: ”The legislation allows any mayor to introduce a local tax in the locality, which can be 10 times higher than the contract with the sanitation company for those who refuse such a contract. All local residents produce garbage, but practically one in two households gets rid of garbage wherever they can“.

“Who throws? The world, and the world is us!”

Local: ”We are more stupid, because we pay or what, why don’t they oblige?“.

Only those who want to pay, since the mayors do not want to upset their electorate, as one of the local councilors claims.

Popa Zachiu, mayor of Dumbrăvița commune: ”Yes, we have to inform… for me it was a shock“.

Anisia Costescu, local councillor: ”Gargle, lie“.

For garbage thrown into the river, the commissioners of the Environmental Guard can sanction the mayor’s office, if the waste is inside the town, but also the Romanian Waters institution, if the waste is found outside the town.

So, it’s a typical case where a municipality can challenge the fine and, under the law, it has every chance of winning and getting the violation canceled.

Local: ”Who throws? The world, and the world is us!“.

We also took 10 liters of water, downstream from the first island, from Homorod, to be tested at our laboratory.

Rareş Năstase: ”I took the can to the Faculty of Physics of the University of Cluj, where professor Dr. Simona Pânzaru and her doctoral students have a laboratory where they can detect, with the help of special lasers, 4 forms of plastic, from soil and water – from PET, POLYETHYLENE , POLYPROPYLENE and POLYSTYRENE“.

Plastic particles are deposited in organs

Prof. Dr. Simona Pânzaru, Faculty of Physics of Babeș-Bolyay University Cluj: ”50 fragments… “.

The worst thing is that the rivers in which plastic containers, bottles, fibers and fabrics of all kinds decompose, are sources of water supply for many localities here.

The water passes, of course, through the related stations, but be careful, the specialists say that no one takes into account the level of micro and nanoplastic, the legislation does not provide for such a thing.

Prof. Dr. Simona Pânzaru, Faculty of Physics of Babeș-Bolyay University Cluj: ”An environmental foundation started a study last year that targeted 21 large rivers in our country. The water samples were taken to the Magurele Physics Institute and the research showed that microplastic is, in smaller or larger, but quantifiable quantities, in all these waters“.

Researchers in the Netherlands have published a study showing clear evidence of microplastics in human blood. They demonstrated that the particles circulate in the blood, travel through the body and deposit in the organs.

Source link