Table 1 Comparison of floating microplastic concentrations obtained in all previous studies performed in the Mediterranean Sea.

From: The Mediterranean Plastic Soup: synthetic polymers in Mediterranean surface waters

Study area Sampling period Net mesh # Mean abundance ± SD (Max) Reference
Cretan Sea July 1997 500 μm 25 119 ± 250 (1160) g/km2 63
NW Mediterranean July–Aug 2010 333 μm 40 0.116 (0.892) items/m2 64
2020 (2280) g/km2
Ligurian/Sardinian Sea Jun–Jul 2011 200 μm 23 0.31 ± 1.0 (4.83) items/m2 65
Bay of Calvi (Corsica) Aug 2011–Aug 2012 200 μm 38 0.062 (0.688) items/m2 66
W Mediterranean Sept 2011–Aug 2012 333 μm 41 0.135 (0.42) items/m2 55
187 (216) g/km2
W Sardinia July 2012–July 2013 500 μm 30 0.15 (0.35) items/m3 67
Ligurian Sea July–Aug 2013 333 μm 35 0.103 (0.36) items/m2 68
NW Sardinia July 2012–July 2013 200 μm 27 0.17 ± 0.32 (1.69) items/m3 69
Ligurian Sea Summer 2011/2012/2013 200 μm 70 0.31 ± 1.17 (9.67) items/m3 70
Mediterranean May 2013 200 μm 39 0.243 items/m2 19
423 (1934) g/km2
Central W Mediterranean May 2011–June 2013 333 μm 71 0.147 (1.16) items/m2 53
579.3 (9298) g/km2
W Med/Adriatic May–June 2013 200 μm 74 0.40 ± 0.74 (4.52) items/m2 This study
1.00 ± 1.84 (11.30) items/m3
671.91 ± 1544.16 (10432.36) g/km2
  1. For this study only concentrations of chemically characterized particles (>700 μm), un-corrected for the wind effect are shown. Some unit of measurements were converted to improve inter-comparability of the results.