2018 Ligurian-Tyrrhenian Sea
These days, about 320 million tourists are spending their holidays at the Mediterranean Sea each year.
This tourism means a 40% increase in marine litter during the summer period above and beyond the 208-760 kg of solid urban waste produced annually by the 150 million people living by the Mediterranean basin.
According to the latest scientific data, the Mediterranean belongs to the world's largest polluted by plastic waste waters. In order to obtain the most accurate picture possible of the occurrence, quantity and composition of the material, detailed data is required.
The idea of this expedition was to collect the first data for a comparative study with data from the same location the following year
During our four weeks expedition in 2018 in the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas we found:
Average meso- and microplastic particle concentrations of 28'376 ± 28'917 particles km−2 and an average mass of 268.61 ± 421.18 g km−2
The particle shape ratio was 65% fragments, 19% films, 10% lines, 4% foams, and 2% pellets
Microplastic particles comprised 65% of the sample while 35% was mesoplastic