• Ibiza Has 30x The Mediterranean Average Plastic Pollution in its Seas
  • San Antonio Has The Highest Level Of Marine Plastic Pollution in The Whole of The Mediterranean

A scientific study carried out by a multidisciplinary team throughout the Mediterranean to locate plastic accumulations in the Sea has revealed that the Ibiza and Formentera coastline has some of the highest concentrations of plastic pollution in the entire Mediterranean.

Ibiza and Formentera exceed 30 times the average of the Mediterranean and Sant Antoni has the “sad privilege” of having the single highest concentration of plastic identified in the study, as reported in La Vanguardia newspaper.

The samples collected between 2010 and 2015 by the Nixe3 project across the length and breadth of the Mediterranean in search of plastic particles reveals an increase of three to four times the average levels in the previous survey.

Ibiza Has 30x The Mediterranean Average Plastic Pollution in its Seas
Ibiza Has 30x The Mediterranean Average Plastic Pollution in its Seas

On average, the samples analysed indicate a presence of 147,500 fragments of plastic (particles) per square kilometre in the Mediterranean. However, the researchers of the Nixe project were surprised to obtain a maximum of no less than 4,576,115 fragments per square kilometre off the Bay of Portmany, equating to 30 times the average.

In the waters of Es Vedrà and in the area of ​​Portinatx, in Sant Joan, one million particles per square kilometre were greatly exceeded. In Cap de Barbaria, in Formentera, between 500,000 and one million were obtained, while in the littoral of Santa Eulària between 100,000 and 500,000 were measured, still above the average.

Another spike in the presence of plastics in the marine environment in the Balearic Islands is the west coast of Mallorca. Specifically, at the height of Port des Canonge, in front of the Serra de Tramuntana, 2,699,784 plastics per square kilometre have been registered.

One of the researchers of the project, Luis F. Ruiz-Orejón, told the Catalan newspaper that one of the causes of these pollution spots is the action of currents, which could drag waste from France, Catalonia and the mouth of the river Ebro.

In the case of the stain on the west coast of Ibiza, “it can be related to the proximity of sources of pollution of land origin and the proximity of very populated and tourist urban centres,” said Ruiz-Orejón. However, this explanation would not be useful for the indices measured against the Serra de Tramuntana, in Mallorca, where there are no relevant population centres. In this case, the high variability of the currents in the Mediterranean would facilitate dispersion, although there is no concrete data in this regard.

In contrast, the minimum values ​​of the Nixe3 occurred in the open sea, as well as north of the island of Zakynthos (in the Ionian Sea) and in the Sea of ​​Sardinia.

97% of the plastic particles detected have less than five millimetres and are, therefore, imperceptible to the naked eye. The most common samples obtained are around a millimetre in length, although fragments of several centimetres and large floating debris are common.

“We have observed, for example, that in Tunisia there are landfills located on the same coast, where garbage is thrown directly into the sea,” the scientist added.