Publications

Analysis of small microplastics in coastal surface water samples of the subtropical island of Okinawa, Japan
||||||

Marine plastic debris is widely recognized as a global environmental issue. Small microplastic particles, with an upper size limit of 20 μm, have been identified as having the highest potential for causing damage to marine ecosystems. Having accurate methods for quantifying the abundance of such particles in a natural environment is essential for defining the extent of the problem they pose. Using an optical micro-Raman tweezers setup, we have identified the composition of particles trapped in marine aggregates collected from the coastal surface waters around the subtropical island of Okinawa. Chemical composition analysis at the single-particle level indicates dominance by low-density polyethylene, which accounted for 75% of the small microplastics analysed. The smallest microplastics identified were (2.53 ± 0.85) μm polystyrene. Our results show the occurrence of plastics at all test sites, with the highest concentration in areas with high human activities. We also observed additional Raman peaks on the plastics spectrum with decreasing debris size which could be related to structural modification due to weathering or embedding in organic matter. By identifying small microplastics at the single-particle level, we obtain some indication on their dispersion in the ocean which could be useful for future studies on their potential impact on marine biodiversity.

Latest Posts

1
Plastic Waste Management (Amendment) Rules, 2022

Guidelines on Extended Producer Responsibility for Plastic Packaging. These guidelines provides framework for implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility. The Guidelines provide the roles and responsibilities of Producers, Importers, Brand Owners, Central Pollution Control Board, State Pollution Control Board or Pollution Control Committees, recyclers and waste processors for effective implementation of Extended Producer Responsibility. Please note[…]

2
POLICY BRIEF (Input Paper): Prevention of Marine Litter in India

The Policy Brief gives an overview of the current waste management related policy ecosystem and provides preliminary recommendations based on desk research, specifically on marine litter in India.  

3
Draft Plastic Waste Management Rules, 2022

The Government of India announced the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, which will prohibit the manufacture, import, stocking, distribution, sale and use of single use plastics (including polystyrene and expanded polystyrene) by 2022. To stop litering and promote reuse, the thickness of plastic carry bags have been increased. Please note that “English text follows[…]

4
Draft resolution- End plastic pollution: Towards an international legally binding instrument

Environment ministers around the globe agreed to create an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee to create an international agreement to end plastic pollution at the fifth United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA), held in Nairobi, Kenya, between February 28 and March 2, 2022.    

5
Baseline assessment of microplastic concentrations in marine and freshwater environments of a developing Southeast Asian country, Viet Nam

Developing country facilities, financial and human resources prevent complete application of sampling, analysis, and observation protocols used in developed countries neccitating adaptations. Researchers in Vietnam developed and standardized a methodology for microplastic monitoring in sediments and surface waters of 21 environments (rivers, lakes, bays, beaches) of eight cities or provinces. The concentrations of microplastics in[…]