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Environmental catastrophe looms: soldiers fight against tons of plastic beads on a dream beach

2021-05-30T23:07:04.941Z

They are tiny balls made of plastic. Several tons of it mixed with oil washed up on a beach in Sri Lanka. The fear of an environmental disaster is growing.



They are tiny balls made of plastic.

Several tons of it mixed with oil washed up on a beach in Sri Lanka.

The fear of an environmental disaster is growing.

Colombo - Soldiers try to clear the dirt with shovels and excavators.

Several tons of plastic granulate mixed with oil and other debris cover the beaches on Sri Lanka's west coast.

The beach, which otherwise attracts tourists and is known for fishing, has been temporarily closed.

But that's not all: The fear of an oil spill is growing.

Damaged container ship drifts in the Indian Ocean

Because the container ship “X-Press Pearl” is on fire off the coast.

A fire has raged on the ship for days.

Emergency services try to extinguish the fire.

The cargo on the “X-Press Pearl” includes chemicals and cosmetics - including 25 tons of nitric acid.

If the container ship sinks, hundreds of tons of oil can also end up in the sea.

At least eight of the 1,500 containers fell into the sea.

This is where the plastic beads come from.

These polyethylene pellets are used as raw material in the packaging industry.

According to official information, the ship has loaded at least 28 containers with these plastic pellets.

The tiny plastic spheres are a danger to marine life if they swim in the ocean and disintegrate, environmentalist Prof. Jagath Gunawarnadena told the

BBC

.

Many microplastic fragments would be released.

+

Sri Lanka: dream beach completely polluted with oil and plastic.

© ISHARA S. KODIKARA / afp

Sri Lanka: A container ship is burning with chemicals off the coast

The fire had already broken out on May 20 as the ship waited to enter the port of Colombo.

The reason was probably a leaky nitric acid container.

The 25 crew members could be brought to safety.

+

Thick billows of smoke can be seen.

The container ship off the coast of Sri Lanka has been burning for days.

© ISHARA S. KODIKARA / afp

According to the

BBC

, the authorities have

filed a complaint

against the captain of the ship

.

The crew had already known of a nitric acid leak on board the ship before entering the waters of Sri Lanka.

The fire could also have been avoided if action had been taken in good time.

Particularly bitter: The “X-Press Pearl” registered in Singapore had previously been refused entry by both Qatar and India.

(ml / afp)

A photo of a boy from Brazil caused horror in 2020.

He stands in a plastic bag smeared with oil in the sea.

An oil disaster off Mauritius made headlines in autumn 2020.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2021-05-30

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