Microplastics in marine sediments in the area of Pianosa Island (Central Adriatic Sea)
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We investigated the occurrence of plastic contamination in sediments collected in the area of Pianosa Island (Adriatic Sea). In November 2015, 20 sediment samples were collected at depth varying between 119 and 142 m. At the laboratory, plastic debris in samples were weighted, measured and classified into dimensional groups, and categorized according to shape. Polymer types were identified using FT-IR analysis. All sediment samples contained plastics. In terms of numerical abundance, microplastics accounted for 64.4% of the total amount found. Filaments (66%) were the most common shape category. Identification through FT-IR spectroscopy evidenced the presence of 6 polymer types. Considering abundance, the majority of plastic debris were nylon (53.2%), followed by polyethylene (18%). By weight, polyethylene (61.4%) was the most represented polymer type, followed by polypropylene (19.6%). Because the distance from the coast, we hypothesize that plastics could be originated from marine-based sources including fishing vessels, merchant vessels and recreational boats.
KeywordsMicroplastics Sediments Adriatic Sea
This study was supported by Terna SpA, Italy (submarine cable HVDC 500 kV cc Italy-Montenegro “MONITA” project). We are very grateful to Mr. Patrizio Fontana and Mr. Albino Moretti for their help with the sampling. Our sincere gratitude to all crew members of the vessel “Kiya” for their support at sea. An anonymous reviewer is acknowledged for constructive criticism.
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