Scientists have analyzed global registries, which have registered more than 12 million pieces of garbage found in rivers, oceans, coastlines and the seabed. They found that 8 out of 10 items were made of plastic. 44% of garbage is associated with takeaway food and drinks.
The largest share of these are disposable bottles, food containers and wrappers, and plastic bags. “It was a shock to us to see that bags, bottles, food containers and cutlery, along with wrappers, make up almost half of man-made waste globally,” said study leader Carmen Morales from the University of Cadiz (Spain). on the seabed, on the coastlines and afloat off our shores. ”
The researchers added that measures to reduce plastic contamination should target items such as straws, cotton swabs and drink stirrers, which are relatively easy to replace. However, they also recommend fighting plastic from take-out food and drinks.
The study also highlights the problem of debris from fishing gear, such as plastic nets and ropes. Discarded nets and lines can be fatal to marine life.
Researchers estimate that between 307 and 925 million pieces of garbage fall into the seas and oceans every year. About 80% – plastic, among them are disposable plastic, bottles, food packaging and bags. Most of the garbage was generated in Turkey (16%), followed by Italy (11%), Great Britain (8%), Spain (8%) and Greece (7%).