Vacationing on the coast of Italy, France, Monaco or Spain is a dream for many of us, but what happens when those white sand beaches you’ve been fantasizing about become expansive fields of trash and those warm waters are choked with plastic?

This may sound like an over-dramatized fiction, but it has become our reality.

What’s Happening

The Mediterranean Sea has reached record levels of plastic pollution from plastics and microplastics. This extreme pollution is decimating marine life, cluttering beaches and threatening human health.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, 95 percent of the floating waste in the Mediterranean Sea is plastic. These plastics have infiltrated the water supply at such an alarming degree that there are over four times as many plastic fragments in the Mediterranean as there is in the Pacific Garbage Patch, effectively making the Mediterranean a garbage patch itself.

The contamination has gotten so bad that plastics have been found in fish, seabirds, turtles, sperm whales-posing a threat to innumerable animal species.  To make matters worse, many of the species that have been found to ingest plastic are animals that we eat

The Significance

What’s going on here is not an isolated issue. Plastic pollution has become so pervasive that these garbage patches are springing up at an alarming rate, killing millions of animals, poisoning humans, bleaching coral and choking our waterways.

As one of the world’s powerhouses for tourism, aquaculture and shipping, local communities along the coast are beginning to feel the strain of the worsening pollution. If nothing is done to correct the issue, millions of people could become displaced as a result, which will ripple throughout the global economy.

What Can Be Done

Fortunately for the Mediterranean Sea, there is hope. According to studies done, most of the pollution is still only at surface level, meaning that ocean clean up efforts would be effective in removing the bulk of the pollution.

However, every year millions of tons of plastic are dumped into the ocean-so clean ups are only a band-aid.

In order to fix the problem, we must STOP USING PLASTIC! Worldwide we must enact better business practices, legislation and personal choices to tackle plastic pollution from all angles.

Only by acting together can we free ourselves from the devastation of plastic pollution-but we must act now.

By signing the petition, you are taking a stand to demand more sustainable business practices by telling big business that we want refill stations in stores. By refilling products, we can keep innumerable amounts of plastic out of the environment.

Do your part, sign the petition today!