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In Mediterranean 229,000 tons of plastic waste a year

500,000 tons in 2040 without changing rules, Iucn study says

28 October, 15:52

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, OCTOBER 28 - A reported 229,000 tons of plastic end up each year in the Mediterranean, the equivalent of 500 containers a day, according to a research carried out by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    The study highlighted that, without significant measures against waste, this number could double by 2040. The data came from a report - ''Mare Plasticum: The Mediterranean'' - developed in partnership with Environmental Action, which reports how plastic reached the Mediterranean from 33 countries of the area. Bad waste management contributes for 94% of the total, the report found. Once abandoned at sea, plastic objects start to release microplastic particles (with a diameter under 5 millimeters). In total, it is estimated that over one million tons of plastic waste is currently accumulated in the Mediterraean. Plastic pollution creates long-term damages to ecosystems in the sea and land and biodiversity. Marine animals ingest it or remain trapped and could die. Current measures in place are not sufficient to prevent the impact of pollution, stressed Minna Epps, director of the program Global Marine and Polar at Iucn, according to the website of the organization. The study said that Egypt (with about 74,000 tons a year), Italy (34,000 tons a year) and Turkey (24,000 tons) are the countries that contribute the most to pollution due to the large quantity of mismanaged waste. When pro capita waste levels are considered, the most polluting countries are Montenegro, Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina and North Macedonia. Products that end up in the sea include tires (53%), followed by fabrics (33%). The research forecast a 4% annual increase under current rules that could lead to 500,000 tons of waste a year by 2040. The study said that governments, the private sector, research and consumers need to cooperate to redesign processes, invest in innovation and adopt better practices for responsible consumption and waste management to invert the trend. (ANSAmed) (ANSA).

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