Plastics in the marine environment are introduced through multiple pathways, and pose serious threats to aquatic biota. Recently microplastic pollution and its possible consequences in India have been recognized by the scientific community, however the extent of the crisis has not yet been quantified. The present study attempted to ascertain the abundance, distribution and characteristics of microplastics in coastal waters (14 locations), beach sediments (22 locations) and marine fishes (11 locations) from the state of Kerala, southwest coast of India. The results showed that the mean microplastic abundance was 1.25 ± 0.88 particles/m3 in coastal waters and 40.7 ± 33.2 particles/m2 in beach sediments with higher concentrations in the southern coast of the state. The abundance of microplastics, mostly contributed by fragments, fibre/line and foam, in both coastal waters and beach sediments, were highly influenced by river runoff and proximity to urban agglomeration. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy-Attenuated Total Reflection (FTIR-ATR) revealed that polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) were the dominant polymers in the marine environment. The digestive tracts of 15 out of 70 commercially important fishes studied, contained 22 microplastic particles. Polyethylene (PE; 38.46%) followed by cellulose (CE; 23.08%), rayon (RY; 15.38%), polyester (PL; 15.38%) and polypropylene (PP; 7.69%) were the major contributors in the fish ingested microplastic composition. A broad range of heavy metals, metalloids and other elements that are potentially indicative of hazardous chemicals were present in microplastics collected from the beaches of Kerala. These results enhance our understanding on the sources, transport pathways and the associated environmental risks of microplastics to marine ecosystems.
This policy brief provides arguments on and insights into why and how plastic chemicals and polymers of concern should be integrated in the global plastics treaty. The document is an output of the Scientists’ Coalition for an Effective Plastics Treaty (SCEPT working group on chemicals, polymers and products) and aims at policymakers involved in the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee[…]
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[…]