Although the Mediterranean Sea represents less than 1% of the global ocean area, it contains 7% of the total quantity of microplastics. More than half a million tonnes of plastic are discarded into the sea every year, equivalent to 33,800 half-litre PET bottles thrown away every minute – a report published by the WWF on June 8, World Oceans Day, revealed.
The WWF report entitled “Stop the Flood of Plastic – How Mediterranean countries can save their sea” features some alarming figures: each kilometre of the Mediterranean coastline receives more than 5 kg of marine waste every single day.
More than half the plastic manufactured becomes waste within less than one year of production. Marine waste generates 641 million euros of costs for the tourism, shipping and fishing industries.
Companies around the Mediterranean produce 38 million tonnes of plastic objects each year for sale, but they do not pay the costs of this excessive production of waste. What’s more, making plastic is cheap, so these companies do not endeavour to use recycled plastic or alternative materials instead for their products. Governments and local municipalities still don’t manage 28% of their waste appropriately.
Along with manufacturers, governments and authorities, tourists also have plenty of scope for improvement: they produce more than 24 million tonnes of plastic waste each year in the Mediterranean region, and the amount of waste increases by 30% in seaside cities during the summer.
said Alexa Antal, Head of Communication at WWF Hungary.
Henderson Island, a remote Pacific island that belongs to New Zealand, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – yet six tonnes of plastic waste was collected there in two weeks.
Based on a study spanning more than 20 years, researchers of the French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea (Ifremer) believe that the Mediterranean Sea is the most polluted sea in Europe.
Water pollution in the region is becoming increasingly severe. Tunisia is particularly in big trouble.
Fishermen in Greece, who agree to collect the waste caught in their nets and deliver it for recycling, get 200 euro a month.
In a natural environment inundated with artificial objects, the delicate balance of finely tuned interconnections and highly functional systems is upset. This new asynchrony, this disharmony is highlighted in the performance of two young synchronised swimmers intended as a warning of the dangers of plastic pollution.
Wastewater is more damaging to coral than the warming of the seas, a new American study has shown.
According to a new study by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, up to 17,000 litres of oil may be spilt in the water of the Gulf of Mexico due to a leak on an oil platform that has started 15 years ago.
Every single piece of plastic that has ever been made is still with us on the planet, and humanity adds more than 300 million tonnes of freshly produced plastic to the total amount each year.
Scientists have studied the cetaceans washed ashore over the last twenty years. The saddest case was that of a 5.3 metre young sperm whale found on the island of Mykonos: it had swallowed 135 pieces of plastic weighing 3.2 kg in total.
Environmentalists removed more than 40 tonnes of plastic waste from the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and California, says a CNN news report.