Two-dimensional distribution and abundance of micro- and mesoplastic pollution in the surface sediment of Xialiao Beach, New Taipei City, Taiwan.

Affiliation

National Taiwan University, Department of Geosciences, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei 10617, Taiwan, ROC. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Environmental pollution with plastic is a growing problem worldwide. This study investigates the microplastic and mesoplastic pollution of Xialiao Beach in northern Taiwan. Sand from the surface (1 cm depth) was collected in a systematic manner. A total of 80 samples were taken along four transects, and plastic particles (≥1 mm) were extracted and quantified. In total, 1939 microplastic particles were recovered, with an average of 96.8 particles per 1 m2. Statistical analysis showed that the backshore had significantly more microplastic particles than the supra littoral or intertidal. Extrapolating the numbers of plastic particles found, approximately 6.8 million plastic particles (≥1 mm) weighing about 250.4 kg should be found in the surface layer of Xialiao Beach. Resampling curves were created from the data set, which showed that at minimum 20 samples should be taken to adequately estimate the mean particle abundance.

Keywords

Microplastic pollution,Plastic pollution,Resampling curves,Sandy beach,Taiwan,