Most of the plastic garbage on Seichelles beaches comes from Asia

Plastic waste on a Seichelles beach

Plastic waste on a Seichelles beach – SEYCHELLES ISLANDS FOUNDATION (SIF).

20 Jan. () –

Most of the plastic waste that accumulates on the beaches of the Seichelles and other island states of the Indian Ocean they come from distant sources and not from the islands themselves.

This is determined by a high-resolution model developed in a new study led by the University of Oxford, the results of which are published in Marine Pollution Bulletin.

The model simulated the movement of land and marine types of plastic pollution through the world’s oceans. Input data on ocean currents, waves and winds were used, as well as on plastic debris entering the ocean from coastal populations, rivers, and fisheries, to predict the accumulation of plastic debris at 27 locations in the Seychelles and the wider western Indian Ocean.

Indonesia is the main source of land-based plastic debris found on Seychelles beaches, with major contributions from India and Sri Lanka. This was the case, in particular, for medium-large debris that has high buoyancy (such as bottle caps, sandals, bottles, and small household items). Plastic debris from Indonesia had been in the sea for at least 6 months, and some for more than 2 years.

Smaller plastic debris, such as millimeter-sized plastic fragments and pellets, tended to come from East Africa and the Seychelles itself. Smaller fragments are less buoyant than larger items, and don’t travel as far before sinking, Oxford reports. it’s a statement.

The Seychelles also accumulates significant amounts of marine plastic debris from fishing and shipping lanes, such as discarded or lost fishing gear. The large number of bottles washing up on these islands with labels suggesting they came from Malaysia, Thailand and, above all, China, were likely discarded from ships rather than floated directly from those countries. On some islands, a significantly higher proportion of plastic waste comes from marine sources, rather than land.

Plastic waste accumulation indices showed a strong seasonal effect. Plastic debris of land and marine origin washed up on Seychelles beaches most likely at the end of the northwest monsoon, with the highest rates in March and April.

The accumulation of plastic debris can also be amplified by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD, also known as the Indian Niño) events.

This is the first study to make a quantitative estimate of the sources of plastic debris in the Seychelles and other remote islands in the western Indian Ocean. Plastic pollution is a major environmental threat, both for marine ecosystems and for communities that depend on the ocean for food, tourism and other economic activities. In addition, plastic debris drifting in from distant sources increase the risk of spread of invasive species and diseases.

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