Scientists at the University of Cape Town suggest that merchant ships are the main source of ocean pollution from plastic waste. At the same time, it was previously assumed that plastic enters the ocean from the coast, and the latest research has confirmed that the garbage has come a long way before being in the place of sampling.
Researchers during several expeditions in 1984, 2009 and 2018 collected garbage samples in the southern Atlantic Ocean. It turned out that most of the garbage stain was plastic bottles made from water and other soft drinks, while they were made in China and other Asian countries.
It is noteworthy that the bottles were wrinkled and their lid tightly closed – this is what plastic debris does when there is a need to save space. In addition, if we assume that garbage brought to the investigated place by the current, then it would take about five years, and the discovered bottles were made only two years ago.
Combining all the data, scientists decided that the ocean is polluted by plastic sailors, completely dumping the entire contents of garbage cans into the water. It is noted that plastic fishing nets carried away by the current are another important source of pollution.