Microplastics on beaches along the eastern Gulf of Thailand – A preliminary study

Catégorie : Détection et Caractérisation
Date :14 août 2020
Bissen, Raphael; Chawchai, Sakonvan.
Marine pollution bulletin : 157,
Several studies have shown the ubiquitousness of microplastics across ecosystems worldwide including significant amounts in beach sand. In Thailand, however, there is a lack of studies about the microplastic pollution of beaches. This study aimed to quantify microplastics at the high-tide line of 21 beaches along the eastern Gulf of Thailand. Observed amounts ranged from 420 to > 200,000 counts/kg. Anthropogenic and environmental factors affect distribution and amount of microplastics. Tide-dominated beaches and beach sections protected by beachrocks exhibit higher microplastic amounts due to lesser hydrodynamics. While human activities have a visible impact, in some cases environmental factors seem to predominate. Despite effective protection efforts led by the government and NGOs, our study shows that the substantial microplastic pollution of beach sand requires a proper management system with appropriate laws and regulations, and a public awareness campaign to reduce effects of microplastics on organisms and their ecosystems.