The identification, abundance and sources of microplastics in the fluvial, littoral and marine environments of Hong Kong

Project: Research project

Project Details


Hong Kong is known to produce significant amounts of plastic waste annually. Moreover, Guangdong Province nearby accounts for up to a quarter of the total production of plastics in China. There is a lack of information on the abundance, temporal and spatial distribution of the various major types of microplastics in the fluvial, littoral and marine environments of Hong Kong. Furthermore, only very limited data on DDTs adsorbed by microplastics in Hong Kong have been reported. This knowledge gap needs to be filled in order for Hong Kong to understand the extent and severity of this emerging environmental issue. This is important because the marine waters of Hong Kong represent precious resource in terms of recreation, ecology and biodiversity and mariculture. Through sample collection from different environments in Hong Kong with the employment of different sampling methods (marine, beach and fluvial surveys) and the application of laboratory analyses by visual identification and instrumental aids, the proposed project aims to produce a “master map” showing the temporal, spatial and abundance distribution of different types of marine microplastic debris in Hong Kong as well as to identify their sources. This “master map” would be an important source of intelligence from an environmental management perspective as monitoring with good quality data can provide a platform for comprehensive assessment of the nature and origin of microplastics, and through which, appropriate management intervention can be brought in, where necessary.

Funding Source: RGC - Early Career Scheme (ECS)
Effective start/end date01/01/1430/09/16


  • microplastic
  • marine pollution
  • marine debris
  • plastic pellets
  • Hong Kong


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