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A yogurt pot, produced 44 years ago for the 1976 Montreal Olympics, found intact washed up on beach

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, 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 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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