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Microplastics in Sumba waters, East Nusa Tenggara

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The accumulation of plastic debris in the oceans has been widely recognized as a threat to marine environment. A recent study estimated that Indonesia is one of the biggest sources of plastic wastes in the ocean, but directly-measured abundance data from the seawater in Indonesia is lacking. We documented the abundance and distribution of microplastics (size <5mm) in sub-surface seawaters of Sumba, a pristine region in Indonesia. Water samples were collected from 5 m, 50 m, 100 m, 300 m depth and near the sea bottom. Samples were examined for microplastics using flotation and filtration methods. We found microplastic in all sampling locations, consisting of fibers (45.45%), granules (36.36%) and other plastic form (18.18%). Most of microplastic particles were found at water depths less than 100 m (81.82%), which was the thermocline area. Our finding corroborates the believe that plastics has widely invaded marine environment in different parts of the seas and oceans, including pristine, remote, and unknown areas.
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IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
Microplastics in Sumba waters, East Nusa Tenggara
To cite this article: M R Cordova and U E Hernawan 2018 IOP Conf. Ser.: Earth Environ. Sci. 162 012023
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IOP Conf. Series: Earth and Environmental Science 162 (2018) 012023 doi :10.1088/1755-1315/162/1/012023
Microplastics in Sumba waters, East Nusa Tenggara
M R Cordova and U E Hernawan
Research Center for Oceanography, Indonesian Institute of Science (LIPI). JL. Pasir
Putih 1, Ancol, Jakarta Utara, Jakarta, 14430, Indonesia
Abstract. The accumulation of plastic debris in the oceans has been widely recognized as a
threat to marine environment. A recent study estimated that Indonesia is one of the biggest
sources of plastic wastes in the ocean, but directly-measured abundance data from the seawater
in Indonesia is lacking. We documented the abundance and distribution of microplastics (size
<5mm) in sub-surface seawaters of Sumba, a pristine region in Indonesia. Water samples were
collected from 5 m, 50 m, 100 m, 300 m depth and near the sea bottom. Samples were examined
for microplastics using flotation and filtration methods. We found microplastic in all sampling
locations, consisting of fibers (45.45%), granules (36.36%) and other plastic form (18.18%).
Most of microplastic particles were found at water depths less than 100 m (81.82%), which was
the thermocline area. Our finding corroborates the believe that plastics has widely invaded
marine environment in different parts of the seas and oceans, including pristine, remote, and
unknown areas.
1. Introduction
Plastics are a successful story with regard to their characteristics that make them suitable for a wide
variety of products [1]. By 2014 the total plastic production reached 311 million tons [2]. High
consumption rate but low recovery rates has driven plastics to be a potential threat to the environment.
[3] reported that most of plastic packaging is not recovered, of which 40% goes landfilled and 32% leaks
to the environment including marine ecosystem. Plastic pieces that ended up in the environment remain
still with very slow degradation (up to 100 years). Recent studies estimated that plastic debris in the
ocean are between 7,000 250,000 metric tons [4,5]; land based input to the oceans are between 4.8 -
12.7 metric tons; and Indonesia was listed as one of the top sources of land based input [6]. This
estimation, however, lacks real abundance data in the ocean since it used mathematical model based on
solid waste production, population density and economic status of the countries.
Plastic pollution was initially seen as an aesthetic problem [7,8], however recent studies have shown
that marine animals can be negatively affected by the presence of plastics. Threats posed by plastics
with large size are obvious, clear environmental risks by physical impairment after swallowing,
entanglement [9]. [10] stated that from the 1960s to 1990s, physical impairment caused by plastics had
increased almost three times (267 to 693 species). Furthermore, [9] reported that all seabird species
(395 species) contained plastics in their digestive systems.
Plastic waste can be degraded by UV thermal oxidation or mechanic processes up to the microscopic
size [11,12]. Microplastics (<5mm) are formed by the physical, chemical and biological fragmentation
of larger items of plastics. Besides commonly-used plastics, microplastic may originate from cosmetic
or fabric, in the form of microbeads [13,14]. The impact of microplastics in the marine environment are
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not clearly known. Studies in the last decade have indicated potential environmental risks from
microplastics, but real consequences are mostly unknown. Microplastics accumulation in
gastrointestinal on marine organism has been reported [1519], but the impact of the accumulation to
the organisms are not known. Microplastics could enter the food web by organism ingestion [20], could
interference digestive tract function [17], and may act as a carrier for organic material and heavy metals
Sumba, located in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, is a pristine region in the outlet of Indonesian
Through Flow (ITF) connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean. It is in the southern part of the
Wallacea transition zone, where Indo-Malaya and Australasian biogeographic characteristics meet. It
has unique marine ecosystems and high biodiversity. This area is an important migration corridor to
many marine megafaunas and pelagic fishes. Here, we documented the abundance and distribution of
microplastics (size <5mm) in sub-surface seawaters of Sumba.
2. Introduction
2.1. Study area
Sumba is located in East Nusa Tenggara, eastern Indonesia (Figure 1). Sumba waters area is believed to
have high marine life, but minimal scientific information. From the perspective of oceanography, this
area is also believed to be unique because of the interaction between Indonesian Through Flow
(ITF/Arlindo). The presence of four water masses on the western side, north and south of Sumba Island
(Northern Pacific Subtropical Water-NPSW, North Pacific Intermediate Water-NPIW, Northern Indian
Subtropical Water-NISW and Northern Indian Intermediate Water-NIIW), proves that this area is an
outlet of ITF [2426]. A front near the western tip of Sumba Island potentially trigger an eddy and might
be influenced by the South Java Current (SJC) [2426]. This current is believed to trigger upwelling
which is important for fishery resources. In addition, oceanographic process also believed to be
important in Sumba region is mixing, that is the mixing of water masses that can occur due to tidal
currents, bathymetry, and internal waves.
2.2. Sample collection
Sampling was conducted during the 9th Ekspedisi Widya Nusantara (EWIN IX) in August 2016 using
RV Baruna Jaya VIII. Sampling sites are shown in Figure 1. Water samples (10 liters per depth per site)
were collected using Rosette Water Sampler at 5 m, 50 m, 100 m, 300 m and near the sea bottom, then
were filtered using a sterile Whatman® cellulose nitrate filter papers (diameter 47 mm; pore size
0.45µm). To accelerate filtration process, we used Gast vacuum DOA-P504-BN. All samples in the
filter papers were stored at 4±2 °C before analysis in sterile Petri dish and covered with ParaFilm®
sealing film. To prevent samples from being contaminated, we wore laboratory latex gloves and
eyeglasses for filtering, sorting and counting. All sterile glassware were used and filters were stored in
Petri dishes, sealed with Para Film.
2.3. Sample analysis
Microscope Leica M205C was used to examine microplastics particles on the filters. We were using the
following characteristics [17,27,28] to identify microplastics, namely (1) particle size ≤ 5mm, (2)
homogeneous colour, not shiny or sparkling and no cellular or organic structure, (3) fiber particles are
unbranched and not segmented. The microplastics identified were counted and measured. The types of
microplastic then were classified as fibers, granule, fragment, and foam; and were categorized to the
size of <300µm; 300-500µm; 500-1000µm; >1000µm. We analyzed microplastics with sizes more than
250µm using Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR). FT-IR can be used to analyze microplastics samples
directly [29]. Polymer analysis was done using Nicolet™ iS5 FT-IR Spectrometer, equipped with a
laminated diamond crystal Thermo Scientific™ iD5 attenuated total reflectance (ATR) accessory, and
corrected using Omnictm Software. The instrument was operated based on [30] at a range of 600 and
3800 cm-1, a resolution 8 cm and at a rate of 16 scans per analysis, in single reflection mode. Before
we analyzed using FT-IR, all potentially plastic particles were rinsed with ethanol 96%. To prevent
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samples from airborne contamination, we analyzed all particles based on a report by [31]. Afterwards,
we did not quantify the fiber particle of the same polymer type as the lab clothes we have worn.
Microplastics concentration are presented as n/m3 unit (Table 1) to compare with other research result,
simple statistical tests were performed on the data collected using Microsoft Excel are presented mean
values ± standard deviations (SDs).
Figure 1. Sampling sites and average abundance of microplastics particles in five different depth (5 m,
50 m, 100 m, 300 m depth and near the sea bottom)
3. Results and discussion
3.1. Study area
Plastic particles were found in all sampling location (10 sampling locations). Average microplastics
concentration per station in five different depth were 44 ± 24.59 n/m3. The highest concentration of
microplastics was observed in Sumba Strait (St-8 and St-10). At 5m depth, microplastics particles were
found in all sampling locations (Figure 2). However, microplastics was not observed at 100m depth.
This might be related to the presence of thermocline zone, ranging from 53m to 144m depth.
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Figure 2. Average of microplastics abundance (n particles/m3) in all station at
five different depth in Sumba Sea
Microplastics abundance at 5m depth was nearly similar with that of the coastal area in Yangtze
estuary China [32,33]. The abundance in this area was higher than that of other open oceans, for example
North East Atlantic Ocean (2.46 n/m3; [34]), East China Sea (0-1.44 n/m3; [33]), and North West
Mediterranean (0.116 n/m3; [35]. The wide variety of microplastic abundance in different oceans might
be related with the fact that microplastics tend to be heterogeneously distributed in a water mass [36].
Because Sumba region is one of the ITF outlets [2426], characterized by four water masses (NPSW,
NPIW, NISW, NIIW), we believe that microplastics observed in Sumba might not only come from
anthropogenic activities around [28] Sumba, but also from other parts of the oceans in the Pacific.
Table 1. Microplastics occurrence, characteristic and polymer composition
Percentage (%)
PE- Polyethylene; PS- Polystyrene; PA- Polyamide; PP- Polypropylene
3.2. Microplastics occurrence, characteristic and polymer composition
We classified microplastics from Sumba into four size categories: <300µm, 300-500µm, 500-1000µm,
and >1000µm; and into three forms: fibers, granule, and other type (fragment, foam) (Table 1). In all
sampling stations, microplastic size ranges from 280µm to 1120µm. Most of identified microplastics
(81.82%) were 300-1000µm in size. Fibers were the most abundant form (45.45%), followed by granule
(36.36%) and other type (18.18%). We identified four dominated categories of plastic polymers:
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Polyethylene (PE), Polystyrene (PS), Polyamide (PA) and Polypropylene (PP). PE was the most
common dominated polymer type, followed by PP, PS, and PA (Table 2).
Figure 3. Example of comparison of the spectrum of polypropylene polymer standard from Thermo-
scientific (red) and a spectrum obtained from the measurement of a dominated polypropylene fragment
particle found in Sumba waters (blue) by ATR-based FTIR spectroscopy
Figure 3 shows examples of the polymers found, which dominated with Polypropylene (PP). From
fragment particle sample, prominent presence peak at wavenumber 2950 cm-1, 2916 cm-1, 2837 cm-1 and
2868 cm-1. Similar observation by [37] for PP samples indicated peak at 2951 cm-1, 2911 cm-1 and 2844
cm-1 indicating an asymmetrical type of vibration (ⱱa-CH2) [38]. Those were similar displayed vibration
bands of polymer standard at 2950 cm−1, 2917 cm-1, 2869 cm-1 and 2837 cm-1. In this study, fragment
particle found in Sumba waters and polypropylene polymer standard (Figure 3) showed an absorption
band at 1375 cm-1 and at 1454 cm-1. Spectrum of PP showed symmetrical deformation vibrations (δs–
CH3) at 1372 cm−1 and asymmetrical deformation vibrations (δa-CH3) at 1458 cm−1[37,38].
Size of microplastics could determine the potential impact to the organisms [28]. Smaller size
increase the possibility of microplastics ingested by the organisms [33,39]. This situation may pose
potential negative impacts to various marine megafauna and important pelagic fishes. Microplastics with
size <1000 µm frequently founded on marine organism digestive tract [16,18,19,40], suggesting that
marine organisms likely mistake microplastics as their food [41]. Microplastics could disrupt digestive
tract function [17] and could also act as a vector for organic and heavy metal pollutants [2123,42,43].
The most common form was fiber microplastics, similar to the findings by [28,33,44,45]. Fibrous plastic
particles in Sumba might derive from fishing nets and rope materials; granule comes from hard plastics
and granulated cleaner [45]. Based on FTIR analysis, most polymers identified were dominated
polyethylene, followed by dominated polypropylene and dominated polystyrene. The primary use of
polyethylene is packaging materials, e.g. food and beverage containers, geomembrane plastic bags and
film. Polypropylene is widely used in food and beverage containers, clothing industry, ropes, and re-
usable containers [4648]. Surprisingly, polyamide fiber was also found in Sumba. This fiber might
500 100 0 150 0 2000 250 0 300 0 3500 40 00 Wav enu mbers ( cm-1 )
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derived from fishing nets and rope material [49,50]. Despite the fact that plastics are newly developed
materials (early nineteen centuries made), our finding, that microplastics was found in seawater of
Sumba at all surveyed depth, indicated that plastic has invaded marine areas, including pristine areas. It
confirms the common believe that plastic waste has spread widely to different parts of the seas and
oceans, including remote and unknown areas [51].
4. Conclusion
Our study reports that microplastics were found in all sampling locations, in the form of fibers (45.45%),
granules (36.36%) and other form (18.18%). Most of the microplastic particles (81.82%) were found at
water depths less than 100m, which were thermocline area. However, no microplastics was observed at
100m depth. Most of identified microplastics (81.82%) were in 300-1000µm in size. Dominated plastics
polymers identified were polyethylene, followed by polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyamide. Further
studies are planned to examine microplastic distribution in the region where ITF presence and to
investigate the potential impact of microplastics in that area.
This study was part of Ekspedisi Widya Nusantara IX (EWIN-IX) funded by DIPA LIPI from the
Government of Indonesia. We would like to thank the support from all the crews of RV. Baruna Jaya
VIII during the EWIN-IX cruise. We also thank to Mr. Sumijo Hadi Riyono for the sample collection.
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... In Indonesia, the volume of a water sample taken by plankton nets varied from 0.1 to 10 L. Relatively, no data was found regarding the volume of a water sample taken by a manta net. For the deep-sea waters, the water sample was collected using a rosette water sampler from certain layers with 10 L per layer [19]. Meanwhile, pipe, Ekman grab, and shovel was commonly used to collect the marine sediment samples, which varied from 100 to 1000 g ( Table 2). ...
... In Indonesia, MPs in the seawater and marine sediment samples were isolated mainly using the sodium chloride (NaCl) solution using the flotation separation method (density). However, few studies used H 2 O 2 30% to purify the MPs in seawater and marine sediment, especially when the size of the MP of interest was less than 1 mm [19][20]24]. For larger MPs (1-5 mm) in beach sand and coastal sediment, the MPs were directly separated using a 1-mm 2 stainless steel sieve, followed by visual sorting [21]. ...
... The first available data of MPs on the Indonesian deep-sea area was reported from the water column of Sumba waters (300 m) 0.044 ± 0.024.59 n/L [19]. These concentrations were far lower than in coastal areas. ...
This study is the first review of current research on microplastics (MPs) in the marine environments at the national scale in Indonesia from 2015 to 2022. This review was conducted to measure the environmental risk and highlight the waste management issue in Indonesian waters. Our literature study found that: (1) the MPs research was mainly conducted in the western part of Indonesia, especially in Java Island; (2) current research has primarily focused on coastal waters (98%) rather than the deep-sea area (2%); (3) the comparability of data is still hampered by difference in quality, about 67% of articles published have not carried out the polymer confirmation; (4) MPs concentrations reported on the articles that did not carry out the polymer identification tended to report higher MPs concentrations. Finally, we propose to have a standard guideline for MPs analysis at a national level and to do more research in the eastern part of Indonesia and deep-sea areas. Further research is required to fill research gaps on plastic distribution and density in deep-sea areas in the eastern part of Indonesia.
... The sampling location in river surface water, on the other hand, revealed a significant difference in microplastics concentration between the upper and lower reaches (Buwono et al., 2021). The difference in microplastics concentration across the water column indicated that microplastics are more abundant in the upper 100 mm of the water column than in the deeper water column (Cordova and Hernawan, 2018). ...
... The majority of the studies attempted to investigate the abundance of microplastics in various body parts of the organism, while others extended their scope to examine their effects and distribution. According to the studies, microplastics can be found in almost all of the region's water habitats, which will sooner or later consumed by human beings (Cordova and Hernawan, 2018). A number of studies have found microplastics in fish guts (Naidoo et al., 2020), milkfish digestive systems (Priscilla and Patria 2019), snails and invertebrates (Putri and Patria, 2021;Wang et al., 2021). ...
A literature assessment was conducted to determine the current state of microplastics research in ASEAN countries focusing on 1) microplastics in water, sediment, and water organisms; 2) microplastics' sources and dispersion; and 3) microplastics' environmental consequences, including human toxicity. ASEAN countries contributed only about 5 % of the global scholarly papers on microplastics, with Indonesia contributing the most followed by Malaysia and Thailand. The lack of standard harmonized sampling and processing methodologies made comparisons between research difficult. ASEAN contributes the most to plastic trash ending up in the ocean, indicating a need for more work in this region to prevent plastic pollution. Microplastics are found in every environmental compartment; however, their distribution and environmental consequences have not been sufficiently investigated. There are very few studies on microplastics in the human blood system as well as respiratory organs like the lungs, indicating that more research is needed.
... The condition allows a positive correlation with the number of microdebris. Like the previous global case, studies in recent years revealed that microplastics also have contaminated several marine ecosystems in several regions in Indonesia, from the surface to the water column (Cordova & Hernawan 2018;Syakti et al 2018;Cordova et al 2019), the sediments in coral reef areas and even the deep sea (Cordova & Wahyudi 2016). Particularly in South Sulawesi, the researchers have conducted several studies, including environments like the estuary , the seagrass ecosystem, the surface of seawater, the sediments, as well as organisms such as bivalve, gastropod, echinoderm and fish, in Spermonde (Tahir et al 2019;Mawaddha et al 2020;Tahir et al 2020;Tanjung et al 2021). ...
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The Spermonde Archipelago has a high marine biodiversity and, at the same time, a high population on some islands. The anthropogenic influence of the mainland affects the surrounding environmental conditions, including the presence of microdebris in the coral reef ecosystem. In addition, microdebris contamination in scleractinian corals is still not widely known as an issue for this ecosystem. This study aimed to examine the presence of microdebris contamination on scleractinian corals in the Spermonde Islands. A sampling of scleractinian corals, including Fungia fungites, Galaxea fascicularis, Porites cylindrica, and the water column was carried out on four islands, representing four zones in the Spermonde Archipelago, including Kayangan (KY), Barrang Lompo (BL), Badi (BD), and Gondong Bali (GB). The samples were taken by hand picking, using SCUBA diving equipment at a depth of 5 to 7 m. Microdebris in the coral tissue and the water were extracted by adding 30% H2O2, then filtered by whatman cellulose disks with a diameter of 47 mm and the pore size of 0.45 µm, using a vacuum system. The particles were observed using a stereo microscope and then analyzed using FTIR (Fourier Transform InfraRed Spectroscopy) to determine the type of polymer. The abundance of microdebris in F. fungites ranged from 4.13±0.77 to 10.75±1.15 particles ind-1. In G. fascicularis it started from 5.50±0.96 to 11.38±1.31 particles colony-1 , and in P. cylindrica it ranged from 6.44±0.38 to 10.22±1.76 particles colony-1. Furthermore, the number of particles in the water column was about 1.44±0.33 to 4.78±0.76 particles L-1. The forms of microdebris found were fibers and fragments, consisting of four size classes. The most common polymeric materials found were paint and cotton. This research showed that the species of scleractinian corals and the water column were contaminated by microdebris in all zones. The highest contamination with microdebris was recorded near the closest island from the mainland and near the island with the highest population. Anthropogenic factors are thought to have an important impact on the presence of microdebris in the organisms and in the environment.
... In contrast, the horizontal transportation of suspended microplastics is mainly influenced by vertical mixing, which increases with increasing particle density (Ballent et al., 2012;Reisser et al., 2015). For example, in Indonesia, microplastics were not found at 100 m deep but were found at 50 m deep and at 300 m deep and below (Cordova and Hernawan, 2018). Therefore, the vertical distribution of microplastics is influenced by their density. ...
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Microplastics are new pollutants found in various environments; moreover, high concentrations of microplastics have been proved to harm aquatic organisms. To understand the high abundance of microplastics in the East China Sea (ECS), where the Zhoushan fishing ground is located, this study investigated the transportation and spatial distribution of microplastics from the Changjiang River Estuary (CE) to the ECS via three-dimensional numerical modelling. Utilising observations of microplastics at the surface of the ECS and backward particle tracking, three sources of microplastics were identified: the Changjiang River, Hangzhou Bay, and coastal area of Nantong city. Moreover, Southern Korea contributed to the microplastics in ECS. After microplastics are released from these sources, monsoons, currents, the Changjiang plume, and tides cause significant seasonal differences in the hot spots for microplastics in the ECS; moreover, the generation of ocean fronts may promote microplastic accumulation. In addition, the settling characteristics of microplastics were shown to influence their distributions; for example, large amounts of microplastics accumulated at the bottom of the riverbeds. This study enables a more complete assessment of microplastic transport from estuaries to the open sea and provides a spatial and temporal distribution of microplastics at the surface of the ECS.
... Microplastics in many environments and organisms have been reported in Indonesia (Afdal et al., 2019;Cordova and Hernawan, 2018;Hafidh et al., 2018;Ismail et al., 2018;Lolodo and Nugraha, 2020;Purwiyanto et al., 2020;Suteja et al., 2021a;Syakti et al., 2018;Yona et al., 2019). Most of these studies describe abundances, shapes, sizes, polymers, and the effect on organisms in the aquatic environment. ...
The air pollution in Jakarta has been recorded regularly; meanwhile, the information of atmospheric microplastics is still unknown. This study examines the characteristics (shape, size, and polymer) and deposition rate of atmospheric microplastics in Jakarta. The sample was obtained by putting a rain gauge for 12 months. All microplastic samples were analyzed for polymer using FT-IR. The lowest to the highest percentage of atmospheric microplastic based on shape were foam<fragment<fiber, meanwhile based on size were of 500–1000 μm < 300–500 μm. The detected polymers included polyester, polystyrene, polybutadiene, and polyethylene. The microplastics deposition rate ranged from 3 to 40 particles m⁻²d⁻¹, with an average of 15 particles m⁻²d⁻¹. The rainy season's deposition rate (23.422 particles m⁻²d⁻¹) was higher than the dry season (5.745 particles m⁻²d⁻¹). Our study proves that the atmospheric microplastic exists in Jakarta's air and needs to be considered to monitor by the government regularly.
Conference Paper
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The increased usage of plastic for personal protective equipment (PPE), single-use plastic grocery bags, and food packaging during the COVID-19 pandemic raised concerns on microplastic pollution. This study aimed to investigate the shape, abundance, and type of microplastics in the seawater of Jakarta Bay where is most likely to be polluted by anthropogenic activities as well as being the endpoint of 13 river systems. The seawater from Tanjung Priok, Ancol Beach, and Sunda Kelapa Port, were collected and extracted using the density separation method. The microplastics were counted and categorized under a microscope and polymer of microplastics were identified using FTIR. The differences in microplastic abundance in three different stations were determined using one-way ANOVA. The results show that the Sunda Kelapa Port (2577.78 214.30 particle/m³) had the highest abundance of microplastic, which was significantly different (p<0.05) from Tanjung Priok (2022.22 203.67 particle/m³) and Ancol Beach (1822.22 101.83 particle/m³). The microplastic shapes in the Sunda Kelapa Port were dominated by fragments (36.2%), meanwhile, Tanjung Priok and Ancol Beach were dominated by fibers, comprising 37.34% and 35.44%, respectively. The results of the FTIR spectroscopy show that the most common types of microplastic polymers are Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Polystyrene, and Polyamide.
Microplastics, an emerging contaminant, is ubiquitous in almost every compartment of the environment. They are of great environmental concern not only due to their pervasive, persistent, and toxic nature but also due to their ability to act as carriers of toxic metals, microbes, pesticides, etc. Comprehensive knowledge of the transport and degradation pathways of microplastics through water bodies is a prerequisite for identifying critical issues and their effective management. In this review, the basic characteristics and various methods of analysis of microplastics in the aquatic environment is summarized. A detailed discussion of the various physical, chemical and biological mechanisms causing degradation of microplastics is presented. The influencing factors affecting the fate, transport and degradation are summarized. Emphasis has been given to include the influential factors that occur in estuarine systems on the degradation of microplastics. The review is expected to give insight into the current understanding of the fate of microplastics in the aquatic environment and directions for future research in the remediation of microplastics in the aquatic realm.
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There is a rising concern regarding the accumulation of microplastics (MPs) in the aquatic ecosystems. Monitoring effort is crucial to understand the concentration and distribution of MPs. The objective of this paper is to mapping the concentration and characteristics of MPs distributed/deposited in estuary, coast, sediment, and marine organism in Indonesia based on data published from the last five years. In the estuary and coast, the highest MPs concentration were located in Brantas River, East Java, around 133 - 5467 particles/m3. In sediment, the highly amount of MP’s, 1136 particles/kg, were found in Kawal village, Bintan Island, Riau. In marine organism, horn snail (Telescopium telescopium) from Rambut Island, Jakarta Bay contained the highest amount of MP’s around 764.81 particles/individual . MPs were commonly found in fragments, fibers, and films with size ranging between 1 μm - 5 mm. Those MPs are mostly made of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS) and polyesters (PES). The data summary obtained in this study could be useful for understanding the sources of MPs as well as monitoring the environmental condition in the aquatic ecosystems.
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Modern Fish Market of Muara Baru is one of the largest fish markets in Jakarta, which sells various seafood, including fish, shellfish, crustaceans, and others. Previous studies have revealed microdebris contamination of mollusks, particularly in filter-feeders. However, it has not been widely studied at the predator level in cephalopods. We aim to investigate contamination of microdebris in two commercial species of cephalopod, i.e. Loliolus sumatrensis and Sepia recurvirostra , from the market. The digestive tract of the cephalopod was taken and dissolved by adding H2O2 50% then filtered under a vacuum system. The particles of microdebris were observed with a stereo microscope then several particles were analyzed using an FTIR microscope. The abundance of microdebris in L. sumatrensis was higher (3.8 particles/individual) than the abundance that of microdebris in S. recurvirostra (2.8 particles/individual). The size of microdebris was dominated by three of five size classes such as 0.1 − 0.5 mm, 0.5 − 1 mm, and 1 − 5 mm. Microdebris in L. sumatrensis was confirmed as polypropylene (PP), a synthetic polymer (microplastic), while in S. recurvirostra was confirmed as rayon (semi-synthetic). This research shows that microdebris contamination has reached the level of a predator in Mollusca.
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Microplastics in aquatic ecosystems and especially in the marine environment represent a pollution of increasing scientific and societal concern, thus, recently a substantial number of studies on microplastics were published. Although first steps towards a standardization of methodologies used for the detection and identification of microplastics in environmental samples are made, the comparability of data on microplastics is currently hampered by a huge variety of different methodologies, which result in the generation of data of extremely different quality and resolution. This chapter reviews the methodology presently used for assessing the concentration of microplastics in the marine environment with a focus on the most convenient techniques and approaches. After an overview of non-selective sampling approaches, sample processing and treatment in the laboratory, the reader is introduced to the currently applied techniques for the identification and quantification of microplastics. The subsequent case study on microplastics in sediment samples from the North Sea measured with focal plane array (FPA)-based micro-Fourier transform infrared (micro-FTIR) spectroscopy shows that only 1.4 % of the particles visually resembling microplastics were of synthetic polymer origin. This finding emphasizes the importance of verifying the synthetic polymer origin of potential microplastics. Thus, a burning issue concerning current microplastic research is the generation of standards that allow for the assessment of reliable data on concentrations of microscopic plastic particles and the involved polymers with analytical laboratory techniques such as micro-FTIR or micro-Raman spectroscopy. © 2015, Springer International Publishing. All Rights Reserved.
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There have been numerous anthropogenic-driven changes to our planet in the last half-century. One of the most evident changes is the ubiquity and abundance of litter in the marine environment. The EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD, 2008/56/EC) establishes a framework within which EU Member States shall take action to achieve or maintain good environmental status (GES) of their marine waters by 2020. GES is based on 11 qualitative descriptors as listed in Annex I of the MSFD. Descriptor 10 (D 10) concerns marine litter. As a follow-up to the related Commission Decision on criteria and methodological standards (2010/477/EU) in which 56 indicators for the achievement of GES are proposed, the EC Directorate-General for the Environment, on the request of the European Marine Directors, established a Technical Subgroup on Marine Litter (TSG ML) under the Working Group on GES. The role of TSG ML is to support Member States through providing scientific and technical background for the implementation of MSFD requirements with regard to D 10. Started in 2011, TSG ML provides technical recommendations for the implementation of the MSFD requirements for marine litter. It summarizes the available information on monitoring approaches and considers how GES and environmental targets could be defined with the aim of preventing further inputs of litter to, and reducing its total amount in, the marine environment. It also identifies research needs, priorities and strategies in support of the implementation of D 10. The work of TSG ML also focuses on the specification of monitoring methods through the development of monitoring protocols for litter in the different marine compartments, and for microplastics and litter in biota. Further consideration is being given to monitoring strategies in general and associated costs. Other priorities include the identification of sources of marine litter and a better understanding of the harm caused by marine litter.
A two-step method was developed to extract microplastics from sediments. First, 1 kg sediments was pre-extracted using the air-induced overflow (AIO) method, based on fluidisation in a sodium chloride (NaCl) solution. The original sediment mass was reduced by up to 80%. As a consequence, it was possible to reduce the volume of sodium iodide (NaI) solution used for the subsequent flotation step. Recoveries of the whole procedure for polyethylene, polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polystyrene and polyurethane with sizes of approximately 1 mm were between 91 and 99%. After being stored for one week in a 35% H 2 O 2 solution, 92% of selected biogenic material had dissolved completely or had lost its colour, whereas the tested polymers were resistant. Microplastics were extracted from three sediment samples collected from the North Sea island Norderney. Using pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, these microplastics were identified as PP, PVC and PET.
Qualitative analysis of the structures of the polymers composing floating plastic debris was performed using attenuated total reflectance-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR), and the aging of the debris was assessed by measuring carbonyl group formation on the particle surfaces. Plastic material made up > 75% of the 2313 items collected during a three-year survey. The size, shape and color of the microplastic were correlated with the polymer structure. The most abundant plastic materials were polypropylene (68%) and low-density polyethylene (11%), and the predominant colors of the plastics were white, blue and green. Cilacap Bay, Indonesia, was contaminated with microplastic at a concentration of 2.5 mg·m³. The carbonyl index demonstrated that most of the floating microplastic was only slightly degraded. This study highlights the need to raise environmental awareness through citizen science education and adopting good environmental practices.
Microplastics pollution has been documented in the global environment, including at sea, in freshwater and in atmospheric fallout. Ingestion of microplastics by multiple kinds of organisms has been reported and has received increasing attention, because microplastics not only act as a source of toxic chemicals but also a sink for toxic chemicals. To better understand the great concerns about microplastics and associated toxic chemicals potential exposed to the organisms ingesting the debris, we should know more about the occurrence, fate, and risks of microplastics in the environment. What we should do depends on this better understanding. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2017;13:476–482.
The permanent presence of microplastics in the marine environment is considered a global threat to several marine animals. Heavy metals and microplastics are typically included in two different classes of pollutants but the interaction between these two stressors is poorly understood. During 14 days of experimental manipulation, we examined the adsorption of two heavy metals, copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn), leached from an antifouling paint to virgin polystyrene (PS) beads and aged polyvinyl chloride (PVC) fragments in seawater. We demonstrated that heavy metals were released from the antifouling paint to the water and both microplastic types adsorbed the two heavy metals. This adsorption kinetics was described using partition coefficients and mathematical models. Partition coefficients between pellets and water ranged between 650 and 850 for Cu on PS and PVC, respectively. The adsorption of Cu was significantly greater in PVC fragments than in PS, probably due to higher surface area and polarity of PVC. Concentrations of Cu and Zn increased significantly on PVC and PS over the course of the experiment with the exception of Zn on PS. As a result, we show a significant interaction between these types of microplastics and heavy metals, which can have implications for marine life and the environment. These results strongly support recent findings where plastics can play a key role as vectors for heavy metal ions in the marine system. Finally, our findings highlight the importance of monitoring marine litter and heavy metals, mainly associated with antifouling paints, particularly in the framework of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).
The presence of microplastics in aquatic ecosystems is a topical problem and leads to the need of appropriate and reliable analytical methods to distinctly identify and to quantify these particles in environmental samples. As an example transmission, Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) imaging can be used to analyze samples directly on filters without any visual presorting, when the environmental sample was afore extracted, purified, and filtered. However, this analytical approach is strongly restricted by the limited IR transparency of conventional filter materials. Within this study, we describe a novel silicon (Si) filter substrate produced by photolithographic microstructuring, which guarantees sufficient transparency for the broad mid-infrared region of 4000–600 cm-1. This filter type features holes with a diameter of 10 μm and exhibits adequate mechanical stability. Furthermore, it will be shown that our Si filter substrate allows a distinct identification of the most common microplastics, polyethylene (PE), and polypropylene (PP), in the characteristic fingerprint region (1400–600 cm-1). Moreover, using the Si filter substrate, a differentiation of microparticles of polyesters having quite similar chemical structure, like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), is now possible, which facilitates a visualization of their distribution within a microplastic sample by FTIR imaging. Finally, this Si filter can also be used as substrate for Raman microscopy—a second complementary spectroscopic technique—to identify microplastic samples. Graphical Abstract Optical and FTIR images of a microplastic model sample of PET and PBT on the novel Si filter substrate. The distribution of this quite similar polymers within a microplastic sample is visible by choosing a band region of 1060–1033 cm-1 for PET and of 955–925 cm-1 for PBT
We investigated the occurrence and distribution of microplastics in surface water from the Three Gorges Reservoir. Nine samples were collected via trawl sampling with a 112 μmmesh net. The abundances of microplastics were from 3407.7 × 10(3) to 13,617.5 × 10(3) items per square kilometer in the main stream of the Yangtze River and from 192.5 × 10(3) to 11,889.7 × 10(3) items per square kilometer in the estuarine areas of four tributaries. The abundance of microplastics in the main stream of the Yangtze River generally increased as moving closer to the Three Gorges Dam. The microplastics are made exclusively of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS). Together with microplastics, high abundance of coal/fly ash was also observed in the surface water samples. Comparing with previously reported data, microplastics in the TGR were approximately one to three orders of magnitudes greater, suggesting reservoirs as potential hot spot for microplastic pollution. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.