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.
The paper provides new insights into marine environments and human activities and suggests plastic waste should be controlled through laws that regulate waste sources and plastic additives in order to solve the problem of plastic accumulation in the oceans.
The paper strengthens the evidence that microplastics are present in the studied biota, suggesting that they are transferred between trophic levels through the interconnected food chain/web. The presence of micro plastics in fish guts highlights the need for further research on processing interventions for reducing microplastic contamination.
PPE (face masks and gloves) were surveyed at six Indian beaches. There were 496 PPE counted with an average density of 1.08 × 10−3 PPE m−2. Previous studies found similar PPE density. Face masks accounted for 98.39% of all PPE recorded, while gloves accounted for only 1.61%. As a result of the increase in vaccination[…]
The research seeks to depict and reduce marine plastic pollution in India. A GIS map has been created to show plastic input from different river basins. In order to address the challenges of marine litter in India, a guiding model has been developed. According to the predictive model, India produces 536 thousand tons of municipal[…]
Plastic research, policies, waste management, socioeconomics, challenges, and opportunities are discussed. Marine plastic studies have focused on a few locations, providing information on distribution and interactions with organisms. In addition to scientific investigation, enforcement, improvisation, and, if necessary, framing new policies, integrated technologies to manage plastic waste are essential.