Eva Raudonytė-Svirbutavičienė*, Rimutė Stakėnienė, Kęstutis Jokšas, Ieva Matulaitienė, Lina Mikoliūnaitė, Aleksej Žarkov, Aivaras Kareiva

Study of microplastic occurrence on the sandy beaches of Šventoji, Lithuania

Abstract In this study, a sandy beach in Šventoji, Lithuania, a popular albeit not highly urbanised touristic destination, was analysed for microplastic pollution in the summer of 2019. The presence and abundance of microplastics in different sites of the beach were evaluated. Šventoji Beach was found to be significantly polluted with microplastic, its concentration ranging from 85 to 325 MPs kg−1dw. Such concentrations are relatively high if compared to other Baltic Sea coasts and worldwide. The physico-chemical characteristics of the plastics showed limited variability. Blue fibres were prevailing over other types of microplastics. Blue and red/orange fibres were identified as nylon containing copper–phthalocyanine dyes, while red/orange fibres as high-density polyethylene. This study provides new insights into the application and development of microplastic analysis methods for the coastal sands of the Baltic Sea.

Doi https://doi.org/10.5200/baltica.2021.1.4

Keywords Baltic Sea; non-tidal beach; microplastic identification; marine debris; coastal pollutants

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