A new report says that nearly four tonnes of microplastics have been detected in the sea between the Spanish tourist islands of Majorca and Menorca.
Researchers for Project NIXE III, led by Dr Luis F. Ruiz-Orejon and coordinated by the Centre for Advanced Studies of Blanes, also said that around 752 million plastic particles are to be found between the two islands in the eastern Spanish region of the Balearic Islands.
While compiling the report, experts only considered particles no bigger than 5mm, pulverised over time by the waves.
Researchers said that around 220,000 particles are present per square kilometre. Between Majorca and Menorca, there is estimated to be around 752 million particles amounting to 3.7 tonnes of plastic waste.
It is believed that tourism plays a big part in the accumulation of plastic particles as the largest concentrations were detected in spring and summer.
Due to their size, the particles are considered a threat to the marine ecosystem and are introduced into the food chain where they end up being consumed by people.
The report was coordinated with the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Studies, the Balearic Islands Coastal Ocean Observing and Forecasting System, and the Esade Business School, according to local media.
A study published by the ‘Environmental Science and Technology’ magazine said that US consumers eat between 74,000 and 121,000 plastic particles per year.