International researchers estimate that as much as 73 percent of the garbage in the Atlantic Ocean originates from Chinese merchant vessels, Canada’s National Post reported on Tuesday.
Researchers from Canada and South Africa studied waste washed up on the beaches of Inaccessible Island, an island in the heart of the southern Atlantic Ocean, on a series of trips that began in 1984. Nearly three-quarters of the trash they sifted through originated in Asia, produced by China. The research challenges long assumptions that plastic debris at sea primarily originates on land.
“When we were [on the island] last year, it was really shocking how much drink bottles had just come to dominate,” lead author Peter Ryan told the BBC. “What was really shocking was how the origin had shifted from largely South American, which is what you would expect from somewhere like Inaccessible Island, because it’s downwind from South America, to predominantly Asian.”
In addition, 90 percent of the debris recovered was time-stamped within the last year, and it would take an average of three to five years for that same garbage to make it from land to sea. The study was published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Monday – READ MORE