Scientists from the University of Cape Town believe
merchant ships to be the main source of ocean pollution with plastics. It was previously assumed that plastics enter the ocean from the shore, but the latest study confirms that garbage comes a long way before ending up at the sampling site.
During several expeditions in 1984, 2009 and 2018, researchers collected waste samples in the South Atlantic Ocean. It turned out that the garbage patch consisted mostly of plastic bottles from water and other soft drinks that were produced in China and other Asian countries.
It should be noted that the bottles were crushed with their tops screwed on tight, as is customary on board ships to save space. In addition, the garbage would take about five years to end up in the South Atlantic if it were brought there by currents, while the bottles discovered were produced just two years ago.
Combining all the data, the scientists blame ocean pollution with plastics on sailors who throw their garbage overboard. Plastic fishing nets carried away by currents are another important source of pollution.