Occurrence, distribution and provenance of micro plastics: A large scale quantitative analysis of beach sediments from southeastern coast of South Africa

Catégorie : Détection & Caractérisation
Date :6 novembre 2020
Vetrimurugan, E.; Jonathan, M. P.; Sarkar, S. K.; Rodriguez-Gonzalez, Francisco; Roy, Priyadarsi D.; Velumani, S.; Sakthi, J. S.
Science of The Total Environment : 746
Microplastics (MPs) existence, identification and source were investigated by studying a total of 2539 particles in 349 sediment samples from nine different tourist beaches [(Sodwana & Richard Bays; Ballito, Mtunzini, Tugela, Zinkwazi, Ballito (north & south) and Durban north & south)] of southeastern coast of South Africa. They are more abundant in the beaches of the Durban city, followed by the Sodwana & Richards Bays, Ballito and Mtunzini. The black particles prevailed over the blue, white, pink, brown, red and green MPs. Supremacy of MPs in the Durban city is mainly due to the longshore coastal Agulhas current in the South eastern side of African coast aiding the degradation of primary plastics coming both from continent and sea. SEM images provided the evidences of weathering/degrading process through grooves, cracks, deep fissures, sharp edges and layered degradation showing signs of oxidation due to long term exposure in the coastal environment. EDS results suggested presence of elements (i.e. C, -O, Si, Al, Fe, Ca, Mg, Na, K, S, Ti, Cu and Zn introduced during the production of plastics as additives. FTIR spectral matches identified from all samples infer polypropylene (PP) (62%), rayon (RY) (17.2%), polycarbonate (PC) (29.8%), nylon (NY) (18.92%), polyester (PES) (31.2%), polyacrylonitrile (PAN) (11.21%) and polystyrene (PS) as well as low (28.9%) & high (36.1%) polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Higher abundance of MPs in the beaches of South Africa in comparison with studies around the world emphasizes the need of dispersal monitoring and use of plastic materials/polymers. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.