We presented the progress of the MEDPELLETS project at the International Marine Litter Congress, MARLICE 2022.

Jordi Oliva en la sesión MARLICE4PEOPLE de MARLICE 2022
Jordi Oliva at the MARLICE4PEOPLE session of MARLICE 2022

On 18, 19 and 20 May, Seville hosted the 2nd International Forum on Marine Litter and the Circular Economy MARLICE, with the aim of developing strategies to move towards a waste-free ocean.

Jordi Oliva Farriol, Co-founder and Project Manager of Good Karma Projectswas invited to this forum organised by the Spanish Marine Litter Association, and presented the progress of the study on plastic pellet pollution in the Western Mediterranean.

Jordi Oliva presenting the MedPellets project at MARLICE 2022.
Jordi Oliva presenting the MedPellets project at MARLICE 2022.

The study has already been running for 4 months and 80% of the pellet sampling has been carried out at Playa de La Pineda, Playa dels Prats and Playa Cavalleria.

So far, from the samples taken at La Pineda beach and Els Prats beach in Vila Seca, from February to April, pellets have been found in all samples. This means that there has been a steady arrival of pellets on these beaches since sampling began last January.

As for Cavalleria beach, a very low frequency of pellet arrivals has been detected since February, however, since the beginning of April an increase in pellet arrivals has been observed on this beach.

Plastic pellets collected at the Good Karma Day at La Pineda beach on 30 April. Photo by Anna Lofi
Plastic pellets collected at the Good Karma Day at La Pineda beach on 30 April. Photo by Anna Lofi
In addition,with the help of volunteers through the Citizen Science Platform of the MEDPELLETS project, several sampling activities have been carried out in areas with a large accumulation of pellets. It has been noted that the first results indicate an overwhelming presence of pellets in the sand on the beaches of Tarragona.
Volunteers at Good Karma Day in La Pineda 30/04/2022
Volunteers at the Good Karma Day at La Pineda beach on 30 April.

In the case of Platja Llarga in Tarragona, 50.9% of the microplastics, larger than 1mm, are plastic pellets First calculations estimate that on this same beach there are 11.6 million plastic pellets on this same beach. Equivalent to approximately 245 kilos, spread over an affected area of 30,000 m2.

During the congress, in the presentation of our documentary CHASINGPELLETS, we decided to share atweetshowing some images of the state of the streams of Tarragona on Monday 16 May,2 days before the start of the congress.

Tweet published by Good Karma on May 20th during the MARLICE4PEOPLE session

These data and the progress achieved so far reflect the serious problem of this pellet pollution.

MEDPELLETS is a project with the collaboration of the Biodiversity Foundation of the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge, through the Pleamar Programme, co-financed by the FEMP.