This study estimated the total loads of plastic litter (macro-meso- and micro-plastics) in sediments from a wide stretch of marine and coastal environment of Tyrrhenian Sea. The prevailing category of debris was microplastic. The results obtained, in terms of average amount of microplastic per kilogram of dry sediment, are in agreement with data reported by various Authors internationally. The study area resulted to be uniform for plastic items levels. Particularly evident was the influence of a flood, occurred in November 2012 in Talamone, on sediments collected at the harbour of this locality: in this area, a difference in levels and quality of plastic debris, attributable to periods before and after the flood, was observed in sediments. In addition to focusing on the effect of this phenomenon, this study gives an important overview, for what concerns the presence of plastic litter, of a significant naturalistic area.
Susanna Cannas, Paolo Fastelli, Cristiana Guerranti, Monia Renzi, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Available online 12 April 2017, In Press