We know from which countries the plastic waste that pollutes the Pacific Ocean comes from

We know from which countries the plastic waste that pollutes the Pacific Ocean comes from

We know from which countries the plastic waste that pollutes the Pacific Ocean comes from

Every day, at any moment, millions of plastic waste reaches the oceans, carried by rivers or from the suburbs of coastal cities, and ends up covering the seabed. Researchers point to the origin of floating debris from this part of the North Pacific Ocean which accounts for only a small fraction of the world’s ocean pollution.

According to a study, 90% of the thousands of tons of plastic waste that make up what is commonly called the “Pacific continent of plastic” comes largely from fishery products from five industrialized countries. This is our number of the day.

“Seventh continent”, “North Pacific waste vortex”, “trash continent”: there are several inglorious names to designate this immense heap of plastic that extends over an area of ​​3.5 million km², in the middle of the North Pacific Ocean . Among the waste that make up this plastic island, a large part would come from floating materials from fishing activities, as shown by a recent study published in Scientific reports, released on September 1st.

    The activities deriving from the fishing economies of five industrialized countries would, in large part, be responsible for 90% of the thousands of tons of plastic waste that make up the

The activities deriving from the fishing economies of five industrialized countries would, in large part, be responsible for 90% of the thousands of tons of plastic waste that make up the “Pacific plastic continent”. © Magnus Larsson, Getty Images

Most of the plastic waste in the Atlantic comes from merchant ships

Researchers from the Ocean Cleanup project and the University of Wageningen (The Netherlands) recovered 6,093 waste less than 5 cm in size, then analyzed them one by one. The most common plastic objects were unrecognizable plastic fragments. However, fishing and aquaculture gear was the second largest waste category.

The economics of fishing in question

The researchers were able to identify a total of 232 plastic objects and their country of origin based on elements such as language, text, company name or brand logo. A significant part of this waste would come from Japan (34%), China (32%), Korea (10%), the United States (7%) and Taiwan (6%).

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