Egypt, Italy and Turkey dump most plastic in Mediterranean Sea

Mediterranean Sea, Turkey, photo: Elion Jashari on Unsplash
Mediterranean Sea, Turkey, photo: Elion Jashari on Unsplash

Almost 230,000 tonnes of plastic is dumped into the Mediterranean Sea every year. Egypt, Italy and Turkey are the countries that release the most plastic into the sea, according to a report of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

The report, called “Mare Plasticum: The Mediterranean”, estimates that the number could double by 2040 if there are no actions taken. So far, they think over oEsppne million tonnes of plastic have already build up in the Mediterranean Sea.

Minna Epps, the director of the IUCN’s marine program, warned that “plastic pollution can cause long-term damage to terrestrial and marine ecosystems and biodiversity.”

“Marine animals can get entangled or swallow plastic waste, and ultimately end up dying from exhaustion and starvation,” she added.

“An estimated 229,000 tonnes of plastic are leaking into the Mediterranean Sea every year,” said the report, blaming “mismanaged waste” for 94 percent of the total plastic leakage.

Under a “business as usual” scenario, this figure will reach 500,000 tonnes per year by 2040, which is why “ambitious interventions beyond current commitments will be required to reduce the flow of plastic into the sea”.

Over 50,000 tonnes of plastic leakage into the Mediterranean could be avoided each year if waste management was improved in the top 100 contributing cities alone, the report said.

A ban on plastic bags in the Mediterranean Sea basin region would further reduce plastic leakage into the sea by another 50,000 tonnes per year.

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