Relationships among the abundances of plastic debris in different size classes on beaches in South Korea

Jongmyoung Lee, Sunwook Hong, Young Kyung Song, Sang Hee Hong, Yong Chang Jang, Mi Jang, Nak Won Heo, Gi Myung Han, Mi Jeong Lee, Daeseok Kang, Won Joon Shim
Marine Pollution Bulletin 2013 December 15, 77 (1): 349-54
Plastic debris on six beaches near the Nakdong River Estuary, South Korea, was sampled in May and September 2012 and classified into three size classes, large microplastics (1-5 mm), mesoplastics (5-25 mm), and macroplastics (>25 mm). The relationships among the abundances of the size classes were then examined. The abundances of each size category in May (before rainy season) and in September (after rainy season) were 8205 and 27,606 particles/m(2) for large microplastics, 238 and 237 particles/m(2) for mesoplastics, and 0.97 and 1.03 particles/m(2) for macroplastics, respectively. Styrofoam was the most abundant item both in microplastic and mesoplastic debris, while intact plastics were most common in macroplastic debris. The abundances of meso- and micro-plastics were the most strongly correlated. There was a higher correlation between the abundances of macro- and meso-plastics than between macro- and micro-plastics.

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