80% of sea debris is thought to come from land and to be in part carried to the sea by rivers. Thus the Rhône could play a significant part in the pollution of the Mediterranean
The issue of the source of plastic pollution of the seas is one of today's important scientific questions. One estimates that 20% of sea debris is directly dumped into the sea and that the remaining 80% come from land. It is also thought that a large part of land-based marine pollution is transported by the rivers to the seas. This hypothesis, generally accepted by scientists, must nevertheless be confirmed and quantified with greater precision.
This study intends to collect samples in the Rhône of Geneva and of Marseilles in order to produce a first assessment of the Rhône's catchment's input to the pollution of the Mediterranean Sea.
Waste transported by the Rhône and accumulated at the Verbois dam. There is every reason to believe that microplastics are present in the Rhône and that this would be a source of microplastics pollution in the Mediterranean.