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Microplastics at the strandlines of Slovenian beaches
- Korez, Špela, Gutow, Lars, Saborowski, Reinhard
- Marine pollution bulletin 2019
- Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, aquaculture, beaches, coasts, foams, microparticles, microplastics, sediments, water pollution, Adriatic Sea, Slovenia
- Sediment samples were randomly taken in March and August 2017 at the strandlines of nine locations along the coast of Slovenia (Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean). Microparticles were isolated by density separation in saturated aqueous NaCl-solutions and analysed by infrared spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR). 11.3% of these particles were unambiguously confirmed as microplastics. Another 8.2% showed plastic characteristics but failed ATR-FTIR validation. 4.3% were naturally organic. The rest was unidentified material (76.2%). The average microplastic densities were 0.5 ± 0.5 MP kg−1 in March and 1.0 ± 0.8 MP kg−1 in August. The microplastics comprised fragments, fibres, films, and foams. The characteristics of the microplastics suggest origin from single-used plastic products and from aquaculture. Compared to other studies and sites, the microplastic pollution of the Slovenian coast appeared low. The validity of the results is discussed with respect to microplastic distribution and patchiness, sampling strategies, methodology, and scientific claims.