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.
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%).
Plastic Pollution: Ocean CleanUp has begun to “clean up” the Pacific
The study highlights the role …
> More information on Futura
VIDEO – The impact of plastic waste and water pollution on our health
Read also Futura