Marine debris is currently distributed worldwide, and the discard and contamination pose hazards to human and wildlife health. One of the gaps in debris science is tracking the source of debris to better evaluate and avoid the pathway of debris from the source to marine environment. For this, we evaluated three beaches of different urbanization levels and environmental influences; a low urbanized beach, a highly urbanized beach and a non-urbanized estuary-associated beach, in order to determine the sources and original use of debris. Plastic was the major material found on beaches, and the urbanized beach recorded the highest debris densities. Marine debris was primarily from land-based sources, and the debris recorded in all beaches was mainly assigned as food-related items. Our results highlight the major presence of disposable and short-lived products comprising the majority of debris that enters the ocean and draw attention to the unsustainable lifestyle of current society.
Ryan Andrades, Agnaldo S. Martins, Lorena M. Fardim, Juliana S. Ferreira, Robson G. Santos, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 109, Issue 1, 15 August 2016, Pages 192–195