Microplastics in The Bahamas: A Reconnaissance Quantifying the Prevalence on Selected Beaches in New Providence.

Jonopia Andrea Fernander, Kristen Welsh Unwala

Abstract


Plastic substances, unlike organic materials, disintegrate over long periods of time. After degradation, larger plastic materials that are broken down into smaller pieces ranging in sizes of less than 5 mm are known as microplastics. To investigate microplastics on Bahamian beaches, this reconnaissance study was conducted on a total of three beaches in New Providence: Cabbage Beach, Goodman’s Bay, and Montague Beach. A total of 30 samples were collected, including 10 samples from each beach along the high tide line, and assessed for microplastics. The microplastics were then visualized using a dissecting microscope with a magnification of 25x or greater. In the 30 samples, an average of 13.5 microplastics were identified at Cabbage Beach; an average of 15.8 were identified at Goodman’s Bay, and an average of 16.3 were identified at Montague Beach. Fibres were the most prevalent type of microplastic observed, but film, pellets, and fragments were also identified. As the concern for the environments of Small Island Developing States grows tremendously, the need for research on the behavior and accumulation of microplastics is crucial.

Keywords


Microplastics; Marine pollution; Plastic waste; Environmental

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15362/ijbs.v27i0.429

Copyright (c) 2021 Jonopia Andrea Fernander; Kristen Welsh Unwala