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Occurrence and sources of microplastics on Arctic beaches: Svalbard

Lloyd-Jones, T, Dick, J, Lane, TP, Cunningham, E and Kiriakoulakis, K (2023) Occurrence and sources of microplastics on Arctic beaches: Svalbard. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 196. ISSN 0025-326X

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2023.115586 (Published version)


Plastic pollution is recognised as a major global environmental concern, especially within marine environments. The small size of microplastics (< 5 mm) make them readily available for ingestion by organisms in all trophic levels. Here, four beach sites in Adventfjorden on the west coast of Svalbard, were sampled with the aim of investigating the occurrence and abundance of microplastics on beaches to assess potential sources of microplastic pollution. High variability in microplastic amount, type and polymers were found at all sites ranging from means of 0.7 n/g (number) at the remotest site and 2.2 n/g (number) at the site closest to Longyearbyen. Statistical analyses suggested that patterns observed were linked to direct proximity to human activities through land uses and effluent discharge. These findings point to an increased importance of localised factors on driving elevated microplastic pollution in beach sediments over oceanic controls in remote but inhabited Arctic locations and have important implications for our understanding and future assessments of microplastic pollution in such settings.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Arctic; Microplastics; Pollution; Marine Biology & Hydrobiology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Divisions: Biological & Environmental Sciences (from Sep 19)
Publisher: Elsevier
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2023 08:23
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 08:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2023.115586
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/21708
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