In Black Sea region, marine litter comes mainly from land and sea-based practices, representing the human impact on ecosystems. Most of these marine litters are produced by tourists, economic activities undertaken in the beach area, but also by the harbor activities and heavy traffic of ships. The marine litter problem is closely linked to major problems of public health, conservation of the environment and sustainable development in the Black Sea region.
Within ANEMONE project was made a step forward in filling the scientific research gap regarding real situation of marine litter at the Black Sea and made this topic more accessible and understandable for the citizens, the ones who comes in contact with the real situation.
The project partners from participating riparian countries: Bulgaria (Institute of oceanology – BAS), Romania (Mare Nostrum NGO), Turkey (Turkish Marine Research Foundation) and Ukraine (Ukrainian Scientific Center of Ecology of the Sea) organized two marine debris monitoring sessions: in spring (April) and autumn (October – November) of 2019, with involvement of 248 participants.
The results of these studies, implemented with the help of citizens, on beach litter represent the ground of the educational and awareness raising campaigns focusing on real data collected from the field, analyzed and transposed for public acknowledge. The joint effort provides inter-connectivity between riparian Black Sea Countries, allowing more data to be shared and made public available.
During these studies, the number of inventories and eliminated waste items was 64,703 (spring – 27,080 items; autumn – 37,623 items). The highest number of items was identified in Romania (45,814 items), but here was also the highest surface monitored. Then, Turkey (9857 items), Bulgaria (5069 items) and Ukraine (3963 items) followed in the rankings.
During the two monitoring sessions, the litter of artificial polymer materials were the most common (50,681 items), representing 78% of total. The highest number was registered also in Romania (33,468 items), followed by Turkey (9,337 items), Bulgaria (4,395 items) and Ukraine (3,481 items). The most 10 common artificial polymer material items are:

1. Cigarette butts and filters

2. Crisps packets/sweets wrappers

3. Plastic pieces 2.5 ><50 cm

4. Polystyrene pieces 2.5 ><50 cm

5. Plastic caps/lids drinks

6. Small plastic bags

7. Polystyrene pieces 0-2.5 cm

8. Straws and stirrers

9. Plastic pieces 0-2.5 cm

10. String and cord (diameter less then 1cm)

Plastics are undeniably a key environmental concern — particular in terms of impacts to ocean health and wildlife. There have been many documented incidences of the impact of plastic on ecosystems and wildlife. Peer-reviewed publications of plastic impacts date back to the 1980s. Plastic debris can affect wildlife by entanglement (entrapping, encircling or constricting of marine animals by plastic debris); ingestion (unintentionally, intentionally, or indirectly through the ingestion of prey species containing plastic) or interaction (collisions, obstructions, abrasions or use as substrate). Everyone can do something to reduce the amount of plastic that enters the ocean. Find here five ways that can make a difference!

1. Reduce use of single-use plastics – the easiest and most direct way is by reducing your own use of single-use plastics

2. Recycle properly – when you use single-use (and other) plastics that can be recycled, always be sure to recycle them.

3. Support bans – many municipalities around the world have enacted bans on single use plastic bags, takeout containers, and bottles.

4. Avoid products containing microbeads – tiny plastic particles, called “microbeads” have become a growing source of ocean plastic pollution in recent years.

5. Spread the word – Stay informed on issues related to plastic pollution and help make others aware of the problem.

***Marine litter case studies were part of the ANEMONE project (“Assessing the vulnerability of the Black Sea marine ecosystem to human pressures“), BSB-319, funded by the Joint Operational Programme Black Sea Basin 2014-2020.

(Last Updated On: January 29, 2021)