Abundance and Distribution of Macro- and Mesoplastic Debris on Selected Beaches in the Northern Strait of Malacca

This study aims to record the presence of macro- (>2.5 cm) and mesoplastic (0.5–2.5 cm) debris at selected beaches in the northern Strait of Malacca. All study sites were publicly accessible beaches except Pulau Lembu, which is in a Marine Protected Area (MPA). The debris was collected from predetermined transects on the beach and categorised according to its form and economic market segments in Malaysia. From the study, it was found that most of the macroplastics found were packaging plastics such as plastic bottles, containers, and polystyrene foam debris. Although Pulau Lembu is an MPA, the amount of macroplastics found was considerably high (7.17 g/m2). All the study sites’ cleanliness may not be ideal, as the indexes were less than zero, which is due to the low availability of waste bins and insufficient frequency of beach cleaning. This may not be able to curb the effects of high anthropogenic activities conducted in addition to uncontrollable natural factors.

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