Sea of plastic between Mallorca and Menorca

THREAT: The particles get into marine ecosystems. CREDIT: Shutterstock

MORE than 750 million particles of plastic, an amount equivalent to 3.7 tonnes, are floating about in the sea between Mallorca and Menorca, a report concludes.

Much of the plastic is tiny pieces of less than five millimeters, the result of fragmentation from bigger pieces, the main study author Dr Luis Ruiz-Orejon revealed.

He said that once these particles get into marine ecosystems they are transported by surface currents and the wind.

The report’s findings were based on samples collected quarterly from the 36-kilometre wide channel between the two Balearic islands in 2014 and 2015.

The data confirmed the greatest concentrations of plastic in the area were detected in spring and summer and in marine areas close to Mallorca, suggesting tourism has a direct influence.

Ruiz-Orejon pointed out that while currents and swells “are very effective cleaning mechanisms at certain times of the year, the particulars do not disappear or lessen, but simply move from one place to another.”

The study, published in Environmental Pollution, was the third part of a NIXE III Project investigation into plastic contamination in the central and western Mediterranean.

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Written by

Cathy Elelman

Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.

Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.

Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.

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