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Scientists believe jellyfish could help rid our waters of plastic waste



Beachgoers in Israel must often contend with two nuisances in the long summer months: jellyfish and garbage.

Jellyfish usually swarm the waters to terrorize bathers beginning in July (and sometimes even in June) and their gelatinous remains can be found dotting the shoreline for the next two months.

The plastic waste, meanwhile, is a permanent feature on the beach and in the water during those months, much to the dismay of those who care for the beach experience.

Plastic garbage thrown away by beachgoers makes up a staggering 92 percent of the waste found in Israel’s seawaters, whereas the global average is only 75 percent, according to a 2015 study by the University of Haifa cited by The Jerusalem Post.

Globally, the world has produced some 6.3 billion tons of plastic waste since the 1950s, only nine percent of which has been recycled and another 12 percent incinerated, and the majority of it ends up in the ocean, according to an Economist report this year. In 2016 alone, plastics production worldwide totaled some 335 million metric tons.

Israeli scientists have been working alongside international researchers to find an innovative solution to help minimize plastic waste in the seawater, also known as microplastics following a degradation process, using jellyfish.