From: Alice Taylor
Tirana is 4th Biggest Contributor of Waste Plastic to the Mediterranean

The Municipality of Tirana is the 4th biggest offender for leaking waste and plastics into the Mediterranean Sea.

This is quite an achievement considering Durres which actually sits on the coast, only contributes 443 tonnes per year.

According to the IUCN “The Mediterranean: Mare plasticum” report, it leaks 1,123 tonnes of waste into the sea every year. It was beaten by Podgorica with 1662 tonnes, Rome with 1809 tonnes and Muntazah with 1912 tonnes. It performed better than Skopje., Tripoli and four other big Egyptian cities.

It’s estimated that in total, Albania leaks almost. 10,000 tonnes of plastic waste into the Mediterranean every year. This puts it in fifth place overall in terms of countries, beaten by Algeria, Turkey, Italy, and Egypt. According to the data, Albania is the worst offender for plastic waste passing into the ocean in the Western Balkans.

It notes that part of the issue is the fact that around 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste are mismanaged by the government- again, some of the highest rates in the region.

Every year, some 1.08 million tonnes of waste is produced by Albanians. Most of this goes into landfill, around 18% is recycled, and the rest is incinerated. INSTAT found that the average Albanian creates 381 kg of waste every year, according to this report, just over 3kg per person ends up in the sea.

The ICUN wrote that the Mediterranean is one of the most threatened regions in the world as it’s subject to a “ubiquitous, man-made disaster: plastic pollution.” Due to high population densities, lack of proper waste management schemes and large influxes of tourists, this environment is under significant pressure.

The report combined data on the quantity of plastic in the sea, how much plastic flows into the sea each year, and what actions should be taken to close the “plastic tap” into the Mediterranean.

It’s estimated there are more than 1.17 million tonnes of plastic in the Mediterranean with around 229,000 tonnes being added each year.

  • Suggestions for helping to reduce the issue include:
  • Bans on plastic straws, plastic bags, microbeads
  • Campaigns to reduce littering
  • Decrease in the growth rate of plastic production and encouraging society to rely on it less
  • Improve waste management and collection in 100 key cities (including Tirana and Durres)
  • Improve wastewater collection and treatment

Questions have been sent to the Municipality of Tirana regarding the findings of the report.