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Plastic waste occurrence on a beach off southwestern Luzon, Philippines

Paler, Ma. Kristina O., Malenab, Ma. Charisma T., Maralit, Jennifer R., Nacorda, Hildie Maria
Marine pollution bulletin 2019 v.141 pp. 416-419
coasts, marine ecosystems, microplastics, packaging, wastes, water pollution, Philippines
The Philippines is one of the countries with the highest plastic waste inputs into the ocean yet there is dearth of information on the level of contamination by plastic wastes in local marine ecosystems. This study aims to provide a plastic litter profile in a local beach as an initial report on plastic waste contamination in a typical coast. Likewise, microplastic (MP) occurrence is measured to establish baseline data on MP level. Results showed that, at sampling time, the beach had a high level of plastic contamination. The Clean-coast index was calculated at 13.14 (classified under ‘dirty’) and, indeed, plastics comprised 85% of the beach litter. The most abundant plastic litter was plastic wrapper as sachet, which is a ubiquitous packaging type in the Philippines. Furthermore, microplastic count sans fibers was at 0.26 items/g, which is comparable to regional data so far.