According to the British newspaper, The Independent, 17,600 metric tons of plastic waste is dumped annually in southern Europe, while 3,760 metric tons float on the surface of sea water.
Data indicate that 84 percent of the waste dumped ends up on beaches, but 16 percent remains on the surface of the water or goes to the depths of the sea.
These figures, which were described as alarming, were issued by the “Hellenic” Center for Marine Research in Greece, and the study was published in the newspaper “Frontiers”.
Meanwhile, figures indicate that nearly 368 million tons of plastic were produced worldwide in 2019, which was the largest annual increase since the 1950s.
A large part of the plastic ends up in the seas and oceans, while it is estimated that there are approximately 250 thousand tons of the substance in salt waters around the world.
The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most affected and vulnerable seas, because most of its coasts are inhabited, and it witnesses intensive fishing, recreational and tourism activities.
Since the waters of the Mediterranean do not flow much towards the Atlantic Ocean, this sea is more exposed to the risk of pollution.
The researchers warn about the pollution of the Mediterranean Sea, because its coasts are rich in terms of “biodiversity”, and people may also end up eating plastic as long as they eat fish that comes out of the sea.