Marine litter on the beaches of the Kanyakumari, Southern India: An assessment of their abundance and pollution indices

This study provides a novel insight into the marine litter pollution along the Kanyakumari coast. In order to conduct a baseline study to identify and assess the abundance of marine litter along the seven beaches of Kanyakumari, Clean Coast Index (CCI) and Plastic Abundance Index (PAI) were calculated. The results obtained showcased that plastics were the most abundant items, followed by foam along with clothes, rubber, paper, glass, metal, wood and others. The average value of CCI (27.24) indicated that the beaches were ‘extremely dirty’ and the PAI value (71.43 %) indicated that five beaches have ‘high abundance’. From the study, it was clear that about 96.87% of marine litter originates from land-based sources. This paper provides an interpretive framework for further assessment of plastic pollution that can help in managing the marine litter pollution on the Indian beaches.

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