Yoghurt pot launched during 1976 Olympics washes up on beach

The plastic item was found on a beach in Spain (Pictures: Pen News/Maite Mompo)
A horrified litter picker has made a desperate warning about plastic pollution after discovering yoghurt pot that is at least 44-years-old in almost perfect condition.
The Yoplait container, celebrating the 1976 Montreal Olympics, was found was up on the beach in Denia, on Spain’s Costa Blanca.
Environmentalist Maite Mompó, who discovered the item, said: ‘I was cleaning the beach where I usually go and I found the item there.
‘I have collected many yoghurt cartons before but this drew my attention because of the brand – Yoplait disappeared from Spanish supermarkets a long time ago. I checked and they abandoned the market here in 2001.
‘So I looked at it more carefully and then discovered that it came from around 1976.’
Maite found the item in Denia, on the Costa Blanca (Pictures: Pen News/Maite Mompo)
Apart from a few cracks, the pot appears to be in near perfect condition (Pictures: Pen News/Maite Mompo)
Maite, 52, said the find underlines the urgent need for the production of plastic to stop.
She continued: ‘This is ecocide at the planetary level. Plastic is not only killing millions of animals a year, it is also in our food chain.
‘Studies have recently shown that 90% of our salt contains microplastic and the same proportion is found in drinking water.
‘We humans must take it seriously. Plastic, that was so useful for making our lives more comfortable, would end up killing us.’
Microplastics are created when larger pieces of plastic degrade into smaller pieces, though some are also manufactured for use in health and beauty products.
The Spanish text clearly makes reference to the 1976 Olympics (Pictures: Pen News/Maite Mompo)
Maite has warned that plastic pollution is here to stay unless urgent action is taken (Pictures: Pen News/Maite Mompo)
The tiny fragments easily pass through water filtration systems and into the world’s oceans, where they pose a threat to marine life, though research on the dangers to human health have not been conclusive.
However, it is believed that the average human swallows some eats and drinks 50,000 plastic particles each year – and breathes in the same amount.
The eco-warrior claims that this strawberry yoghurt pot – which says ‘Official supplier of the Montreal Olympiad, 1976’ in Spanish – would have taken 150 years to decompose.
The World Economic Forum quotes research estimating that plastic bottles can take 450 years to decompose.
Maite added: ‘This item tells us straight away that the plastic created today will survive not only ourselves but also our descendants for many generations.
‘It really is madness.’
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Concern around the environmental impact of plastic rubbish rocketed in the UK following David Attenborough’s Blue Planet series.
The documentary suggested that more than 150 million tonnes are already in the world’s oceans and responsible for the deaths of a million birds and 100,000 sea mammals every year.
And on World Oceans Day last year, focus turned to the impact of plastic pollution as calls for action on the issue grow.
Paula Chin, Materials Specialist at the World Wildlife Foundation UK, said: ‘Plastic pollution is the most visible example of the environmental crisis we are facing. 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped into our seas every year killing our precious wildlife, from beaches to the frozen arctic.
‘This yoghurt pot demonstrates how long plastic has been polluting our natural world and it’s not going away anytime soon.
‘To stop this, we need a global and legally binding UN agreement to stop plastic leaking into our oceans by 2030 so that nature can recover. Producers, businesses and governments need to take greater responsibility.’

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