Comparison of the distribution and degradation of plastic debris along shorelines of the Great Lakes, North America

The distribution patterns, compositions and textures of plastic debris along the Lake Erie and St. Clair shorelines were studied in order to determine the roles of potential source locations, surface currents, and shoreline types in the accumulation of plastic litter. The results were compared with those previously determined from Lake Huron, where abundant plastic pellets characterize the southeastern shoreline. Lake Erie and St. Clair shorelines contained some pellets, but were mainly characterized by plastic fragments and intact products, respectively. The potential sources for the pellets include spillage within factories or during transport and off-loading; whereas intact products were derived from urban waste. (…)

Maciej Zbyszewski, Patricia L. Corcoran, Alexandra Hockin, Journal of Great Lakes Research, Vol. 40 (2), Pages 288-299, June 2014

The article


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