A First Survey on the Abundance of Plastics Fragments and Particles on Two Sandy Beaches in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia

Plastic fragments and particles as an emerging environmental contaminant and pollutant are gaining scientific attention in the recent decades due to the potential threats on biota. This study aims to elucidate the presence, abundance and temporal change of plastic fragments and particles from two selected beaches, namely Santubong and Trombol in Kuching on two sampling times. Morphological and polymer identification assessment on the recovered plastics was also conducted. Overall comparison statistical analysis revealed that the abundance of plastic fragments/debris on both of sampling stations were insignificantly different (p>0.05). Likewise, statistical analysis on the temporal changes on the abundance yielded no significant difference for most of the sampling sites on each respective station, except STB-S2. Morphological studies revealed physical features of plastic fragments and debris were diverse in shapes, sizes, colors and surface fatigues. FTIR fingerprinting analysis shows that polypropylene and polyethylene were the dominant plastic polymers debris on both beaches.

V James Noik and P Mohd Tuah, IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering Volume 78 conference 1, 2015

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