07/06/2018 23:00 BST | Updated 13/07/2018 00:25 BST

This Is What Your Mediterranean Summer Holiday Is Doing To The Ocean

The majority of the plastic waste is coming from Turkey and Spain.

Tourism is causing a 40% increase in marine litter entering the Mediterranean Sea each summer – 95% of which is plastic – according to new research by WWF for World Oceans Day.

The majority of the plastic waste was found to be coming from Turkey and Spain, followed by Italy, Egypt and France – countries where over 34 million Brits are preparing to holiday this year. So, your mini break this year may well contribute to the world’s plastic pollution problem.

Milos Bicanski

Although it only one percent of the world’s water, the Mediterranean contains seven percent of all of the world’s microplastic waste, four times more than the North Pacific Ocean’s ‘plastic island’. These microplastics are eaten by fish, finding their way back into our diets. Plastics have also been found in oysters and mussels, while crisp packets and cigarettes have been found in large fish.  

In light of this report, WWF has recommended checking out local recycling options before you visit and bringing your own refillable cups and bottles in order to keep as much plastic out of the sea as possible. 

“The Mediterranean is a beautiful holiday destination enjoyed by millions of British people each summer but when we come home with our happy memories, we’re leaving behind a toxic legacy of plastic waste,” Tanya Steele, chief executive at WWF said.

“The birds, fish, and turtles of the Mediterranean are choking on plastic, but our report also shows plastic is ending up in the fish and seafood we eat on holiday. By drinking tap water where it’s safe to do so, refusing plastic straws and stirrers or skipping the disposable inflatable pool toy, we can all be part of the solution and not the problem.”