A study by the World Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has revealed that the Mediterranean, where approximately 450 million people live in coastal and surrounding countries, is rapidly turning into a dump for plastic waste.
Around 230,000 tons of plastic waste is dumped into the Mediterranean annually from 33 countries that have a coast in the Mediterranean or are connected to the sea by rivers such as the Nile, Po and Rhone. This means that the equivalent of over 500 cargo containers of garbage are dumped into the Mediterranean every day, 94 percent of which is plastic waste, the study shows.
It was found that Egypt pollutes the Mediterranean the most with approximately 74 thousand tons of waste material per annum. Italy pollutes with 34 thousand tons, and Turkey with 24 thousand tons. According to population density, Montenegro is the country that dumps the most waste to the Mediterranean. Eight kilograms of plastic waste per person per year are thrown into the Mediterranean from Montenegro. After Montenegro comes Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia.
Experts predict that the amount of plastic waste in the Mediterranean has exceeded one million tons, and warn that this amount could double by 2040.
The study concluded that countries polluting the Mediterranean should review their waste disposal systems and impose sanctions on those who pollute the sea.