Beach Litter Characteristics Along the Moroccan Mediterranean Coast: Implications for Coastal Zone Management

  • D. NachiteEmail author
  • F. Maziane
  • G. Anfuso
  • A. Macias
Part of the Coastal Research Library book series (COASTALRL, volume 24)


This paper presents the result of a novel investigation based on litter accumulation assessment and quantification on 14 sandy beaches including most important and emblematic touristic destinations and remote and rural areas along the entire Morocco Mediterranean coast. Beach litter was collected, sorted and categorized from 100 m width sectors during autumn 2015 and spring 2016. Mean litter concentration reached a maximum value of 435 items per 100 m or 0.06 ± 0.04 items m−2, and these values seemed to be somewhat lower respect to other Mediterranean areas, especially if considering very touristic areas. Density of litter items was also lower than the average value (1 item m−2) established in most studies concerning Mediterranean coasts. Litter abundance and density varied significantly between autumn and spring seasons, e.g. 65.7% of all items were collected in autumn. Beach litter was mainly composed of plastic, which represented 67.4% of all collected items, top five plastic items corresponded to bottle caps, cigarettes butts, bags, bottles <2 L and rope. Cigarette butts were quite common and constituted the second most abundant item among plastic debris, accounting for up to 13% of total debris recorded. Urban beaches presented higher concentration of cigarettes butts (on average 104 items, i.e. 36% of total debris) than other beaches (average 10 items, i.e. 7%), this difference is accentuated in autumn respect to spring. Items related to beach use followed the same trend, they were numerous (i.e. 1,837 or 18%), more abundant in autumn than in spring and particularly frequent in urban beaches. According to the scale of investigation, obtained results are very helpful to local or national coastal managers and planners, who need coastal, environmental inventories based on ascertained facts to carry out sound management decisions.


Litter Beaches Coastal management Mediterranean coast Morocco 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeologyFaculty of SciencesTetouanMorocco
  2. 2.Departamento de Ciencias de la Tierra, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y AmbientalesUniversidad de CádizPuerto RealSpain
  3. 3.Área de Análisis Geográfico Regional, Facultad de Ciencias del Mar y AmbientalesUniversidad de CádizPuerto RealSpain

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