Plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems of Turkey

The country's aquatic ecosystems are also at risk, due to plastic pollution

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems of Turkey

Not only the earthquake that a few days ago caused a real disaster in Turkey, with over 17 thousand dead. But the country's aquatic ecosystems are also at risk, due to plastic pollution. The study A review of plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems of Turkey, published on the Environmental science and pollution research international, explained: "Turkey is one of the major plastic pollution sources in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

This review summarizes present information, data, and legislation on plastic pollution in Turkish aquatic ecosystems. According to results derived from reviewed studies, both macro- and microplastic pollutions were documented in Turkish aquatic ecosystems.

Most of the studies on plastic pollution in Turkish waters were performed in the marine environment while only four were conducted in freshwater environments. Spatially, the majority of these studies, which were on levels in the marine environment, were conducted on the northeastern Mediterranean coasts of Turkey, especially Iskenderun and Mersin Bays."

Not only the earthquake: plastic pollution in aquatic ecosystems of Turkey

Researchers then added: "Additional studies were carried out on either the ingestion/presence/impact of microplastics by/to aquatic organisms or the entanglement of marine organisms in plastics.

There were also studies assessing the microplastic content of commercial salt, and another has reported microplastic presence in traditional stuffed mussels sold in Turkish streets. Some studies were conducted on microplastic presence and/or their removal in wastewater treatment plants in Mersin, Adana, Mugla, and Istanbul cities.

Macro- and microliter loading from a few Turkish rivers to the sea was also estimated. All these investigations indicate that Turkish aquatic environments have significant plastic pollution problems, which were also underlined by the legislative studies.

The need for further studies in this field still exists, especially in freshwater environments." Also other studies confirmed the issue, in a Country harshly hit by the earthquake.