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Research Reveals How Much Plastic Debris is Currently Floating in the Mediterranean Sea

A research team headed by Greek scientists has found that plastic debris can be observed across the Mediterranean Sea, from beaches and surface waters to seafloors, and estimate that around 3,760 metric tons of plastics are currently floating in the Mediterranean.

They developed a model to track the pathways and fate of dangerous plastic debris from land-based sources in the sea that borders southern European countries and Israel.

Global plastic production has been increasing each year since the 1950s, with 368 million tons of plastic produced in 2019 alone. A high proportion of plastic waste ends up in seas and oceans. Estimates suggest that more than 250,000 tons of plastic debris are currently floating around in oceans all over the world.

The social, political, and cultural variety of inhabited countries along the coastline of the Mediterranean makes the implementation of a common marine ecosystem management policy difficult, they asserted, but models such as the one from the study can help mitigate this problem.

“The use of predictive models, like the one presented here, that can connect observed plastic concentrations with their sources, is critical for the designation of successful management plans,” a new study published in Frontiers in Marine Science wrote.

The Mediterranean Sea is considered a hot spot for plastic pollution, probably because of its densely populated coastlines, fishing, shipping, tourism and a limited outflow of surface water to the Atlantic. At the same time, the Mediterranean is rich in biodiversity, making it an area of great concern for the conservation of marine ecosystems.

Plastic pollution affects all levels of marine biodiversity, with micro- and macroplastic particles found at the sea surface, beaches, the seafloor and within the bodies of large and small marine animals. It has also been reported that people ingest plastic when they eat food coming from the sea. (I365 / VFI News)

“God, we ask that you bring Your people together to protect Your creation and the beauty of our world.”