Chemical compounds present on plastic were characterised on different types of plastic litter and beached pellets, using a general GC–MS screening method. A variety of plastic related compounds, such as building blocks, antioxidants, additives and degradation products, were identified next to diverse environmental pollutants and biofilm compounds. A validated method for the analysis of PAHs and PCBs on beached pellets at the Belgian Coast, showed concentrations of ∑ 16 EPA-PAHs of 1076–3007 ng g−1 plastic, while the concentrations of ∑ 7 OSPAR-PCBs ranged from 31 to 236 ng g−1 plastic. The wide variety of plastic compounds retrieved in the general screening showed the importance of plastic as a potential source of contaminants and their degradation products.
Johanna Gauquie, Lisa Devriese, Johan Robbens, Bavo De Witte, Chemosphere, Volume 138, Pages 348–356, November 2015