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Occurrence and distribution of microplastics in marine sediments along the Belgian coast
Claessens, M.; De Meester, S.; Van Landuyt, L.; De Clerck, K.; Janssen, C.R. (2011). Occurrence and distribution of microplastics in marine sediments along the Belgian coast. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 62(10): 2199-2204.
In: Marine Pollution Bulletin. Macmillan: London. ISSN 0025-326X; e-ISSN 1879-3363, more
Peer reviewed article  

Available in  Authors 
    VLIZ: Open Repository 247943 [ OMA ]

Author keywords
    Microplastics; Marine debris; Belgium; Sediment; FT-IR spectroscopy; Time trends

Authors  Top 
  • Claessens, M., more
  • De Meester, S., more
  • Van Landuyt, L.
  • De Clerck, K.
  • Janssen, C.R., more

    Plastic debris is known to undergo fragmentation at sea, which leads to the formation of microscopic particles of plastic; the so called ‘microplastics’. Due to their buoyant and persistent properties, these microplastics have the potential to become widely dispersed in the marine environment through hydrodynamic processes and ocean currents. In this study, the occurrence and distribution of microplastics was investigated in Belgian marine sediments from different locations (coastal harbours, beaches and sublittoral areas).

    Particles were found in large numbers in all samples, showing the wide distribution of microplastics in Belgian coastal waters. The highest concentrations were found in the harbours where total microplastic concentrations of up to 390 particles kg-1 dry sediment were observed, which is 15–50 times higher than reported maximum concentrations of other, similar study areas.

    The depth profile of sediment cores suggested that microplastic concentrations on the beaches reflect the global plastic production increase.

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