As the world today commemorates World Oceans Day, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) issued a report on the worrying state of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean
Roughly 600,000 tonnes ends up polluting the Mediterranean Sea, according to estimates in a new report by the international non-profit the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). It’s the equivalent of roughly 563 plastic bottles being dumped into the Mediterranean Sea every second.
You can see the full WWF report here
The report states that a quarter of the plastic waste produced by 22 countries and territories is released into nature every year of which roughly 600,000 tonnes ends up polluting the Mediterranean Sea
A study published this week found humans could be consuming between 39,000 and 52,000 tiny plastics — known as microplastics per year. Some studies hypothesise those microplastics could become toxic over time.
The WWF report said 80% of the marine plastic in the Mediterranean would return to land within a decade, polluting the coastlines.
Of the 24 million tonnes of plastic waste generated by the countries and territories in the region, only 72% is disposed of properly: in a controlled landfill, incinerator, or by recycling.
The rest is mismanaged in uncontrolled landfills or dumped illegally and is the main source of waste in the Mediterranean.
Every country in the Mediterranean mismanages a portion of its waste, but Egypt, Turkey, and Italy together account for two-thirds of the mismanaged waste.
Countries in the Mediterranean region produce 10% of all plastic goods making the region the fourth largest producer of plastic goods.
World Oceans Day takes place every 8 June. The concept was originally proposed in 1992 by Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development and the Ocean Institute of Canada at the Earth Summit – UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.