Transport, Distribution and Composition of Floating Macro and Micro-Litter in the Marine Environment

A special issue of Environments (ISSN 2076-3298).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 December 2024 | Viewed by 1398

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
CNR-ISMAR, Istituto di Scienze Marine, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, 19032 Lerici, Italy
Interests: plastic pollution; marine litter; microplastics; microfibers
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing global production and use of plastic materials has led to enormous amounts of plastic debris accumulation in the world’s oceans. Characteristics such as low density, good mechanical properties, and low cost allow for the successful use of plastics in industries and everyday life. However, its high durability leads to the persistence of synthetic polymers in the marine environment, where they can cause harm to a great variety of organisms. Scientific interest in plastic pollution has grown rapidly in recent years, and much progress has been made since the first reports were published half a century ago.

We now have a much better understanding of the main sources and impacts of many synthetic polymers commonly found in the marine environment. However, a clear understanding of the global plastic cycle is still far from being achieved. For instance, it is widely assumed that most plastic debris derives from land-based sources, although some studies recently suggested that sea-based sources also play an important role. Nevertheless, there is a large mismatch between the estimates of the global inputs of plastic from land and the total amount of plastic floating at sea. Recent studies suggested that back shores and coastal margins, the water column, or deep-sea sediments can all account for this missing fraction; however, the fluxes and fate of most plastics and fibers entering the ocean yearly are currently unknown. Many open questions remain to be addressed and we are still considerably far from understanding the main processes involved with the full cycling of plastics in natural ecosystems.

This Special Issue welcomes studies and reviews papers on different aspects related to plastic pollution in the marine environment: studies dealing with sources, sinks, residence times, and accumulation patterns of floating macro- and micro-litter in the marine environment, as well as papers dealing with the main factors driving the occurrence, abundance, distribution, and composition of floating litter in the marine environment are welcome. Similarly, submissions of papers dealing with remote sensing, ocean modeling, deep-sea exploration, and developing innovative and low-cost sensors and methodologies to study the abundance of floating macro and microplastics (including microfibers) in the marine environment are also encouraged.

Dr. Giuseppe Suaria
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • marine litter
  • plastic pollution
  • microplastics
  • marine debris

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

19 pages, 6506 KiB  
Article
Anthropogenic Microparticles Abundance in Sandy Beach Sediments along the Tetouan Coast (Morocco Mediterranean)
by Assia Bouzekry, Bilal Mghili, Monique Mancuso, Oumayma Bouadil, Teresa Bottari and Mustapha Aksissou
Environments 2024, 11(4), 83; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments11040083 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1048
Abstract
Despite the widespread presence of anthropogenic microparticles (AMs) in beach sediments, research on their occurrence on Moroccan Mediterranean beaches is still limited. This study is the first report on AM pollution in four sandy beaches along the Tetouan coast (Morocco Mediterranean). The findings [...] Read more.
Despite the widespread presence of anthropogenic microparticles (AMs) in beach sediments, research on their occurrence on Moroccan Mediterranean beaches is still limited. This study is the first report on AM pollution in four sandy beaches along the Tetouan coast (Morocco Mediterranean). The findings reveal an average AM concentration of 483.12 ± 157.04 AMs/kg of beach sediment. The most common AM types were fibers (75.54%) and fragments (24.06%). AMs were predominantly black, red, and blue, measuring between 0.1 and 1 mm. The evaluation of the anthropogenic microparticles pollution index (AMPI) and the coefficient of anthropogenic microparticles impact (CAMI) for the study area indicated a “very high abundance” of AMs and an “extreme” level of impact. The polymers identified in these areas included PS, PE, PP, and PET. Tourism, fishing, domestic activities, and poor solid waste management practices are the primary sources of AM pollution in this region. To protect Moroccan beaches, the implementation of a consistent plastic waste management strategy is recommended. Full article
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