Videos of plastic deposits on the high seas often shock the public, but a Swiss study found that most plastic waste eventually gathers near the coast.
Victor Onink of the Climate Research Center of the University of Bern said: “Our analysis shows that about 80% of plastic waste floats less than 10 kilometers from the coast five years after finally entering the sea.”
Six years ago, scientists estimated that as many as 13 million plastics eventually flowed into the ocean every year.
Onink, the lead author of the study, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, said that most of the waste will eventually float to the shore.
According to calculations by Swiss scientists, at least one third of the plastic thrown into the sea will return to the coast, which has serious consequences for the environment, because coastal ecosystems are particularly sensitive to plastics, and this phenomenon will also have a negative impact on the environment. tourism.
Onink said that the Mediterranean Sea is particularly polluted for two reasons. First, a pile of plastic enters the Mediterranean through the Nile River, and second, it is a relatively small and closed ocean.