Microplastics in tourist beaches of Huatulco Bay, Pacific coast of southern Mexico

The presence and impacts of plastic marine debris (PMD) have been documented in the oceans worldwide, and they deserve special attention. This study is the first to report the presence of microplastics in tourist beaches located in Huatulco Bay, southern Mexico. A total of 70 beach sediment samples (for 2 distinct seasons) were collected from Huatulco Bay in April 2013 and December 2014. The samples were subsequently extracted by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) to identify the fibrous microplastics (diameter < 5 mm). The maximum number of fibrous materials was found in April 2013 and December 2014 in the Rincón Sabroso beach (48/30 g sediment) and the Cuatunalco beach (69/30 g sediment), respectively. Overall, a high amount of microplastics is present in the Conejos, Tangolunda, Santa Cruz, and San Agustin beaches. The microplastics are mainly derived from tourism-based activities and effluents discharged from the hotels and restaurants located along the beaches.

I. Retama, M.P. Jonathan, V.C. Shruti, S. Velumani, S.K. Sarkar, Priyadarsi D. Roy, P.F. Rodríguez-Espinosa, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 113, Issues 1–2, 15 December 2016, Pages 530–535

The article

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