Hong Kong at the Pearl River estuary: A hotspot of microplastic pollution

Lincoln FOK, Pui Kwan CHEUNG

Research output: Contribution to journalArticles

135 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Large plastic (>5 mm) and microplastic (0.315–5 mm) debris were collected from 25 beaches along the Hong Kong coastline. More than 90% consisted of microplastics. Among the three groups of microplastic debris, expanded polystyrene (EPS) represented 92%, fragments represented 5%, and pellets represented 3%. The mean microplastic abundance for Hong Kong was 5595 items/m2. This number is higher than international averages, indicating that Hong Kong is a hotspot of marine plastic pollution. Microplastic abundance was significantly higher on the west coast than on the east coast, indicating that the Pearl River, which is west of Hong Kong, may be a potential source of plastic debris. The amounts of large plastic and microplastic debris of the same types (EPS and fragments) were positively correlated, suggesting that the fragmentation of large plastic material may increase the quantity of beach microplastic debris. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-118
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume99
Issue number1-2
Early online dateJul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2015

Citation

Fok, L., & Cheung, P. K. (2015). Hong Kong at the Pearl River estuary: A hotspot of microplastic pollution. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 99(1-2), 112-118. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2015.07.050

Keywords

  • Marine debris
  • Microplastics
  • Abundance
  • Beach survey
  • Hong Kong
  • Pearl River estuary

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