The origin of stranded shoreline macroplastic debris in Hong Kong

Ka Mei TSUI

Research output: Other contributionHonours Projects (HP)

Abstract

In recent years, macroplastic debris (> 25 mm) in the aquatic ecosystem has aroused public concern, both locally and globally. In this study, macroplastic debris labelled with traditional Chinese characters, simplified Chinese characters, other languages or no label was counted in five transects of three channelized rivers and on six sandy beaches located at the inner and outer bay in Hong Kong during a wet summer season (May–September 2020).

The results showed that the mean proportion of macroplastic debris labelled with traditional Chinese characters in channelized rivers was 85.6% by number, suggesting that locally generated macroplastic debris is likely to be labelled with traditional Chinese characters in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, the Independent-Samples T Test revealed that the mean proportion of stranded shoreline macroplastic debris contributing from local sources (channelized rivers) on the two sandy beaches located at inner bay by number was significantly higher (p < 0.05) than that on the four sandy beaches located at outer bay, suggesting that stranded shoreline macroplastic debris on inner sandy beaches tend to has a local origin — channelized river, whereas that on outer sandy beaches tend to has a non-local origin in Hong Kong. The low proportion of stranded shoreline microplastic debris contributing from local sources on Lung Kwu Tan located on the west coast suggested that the Pearl River may be a potential source of macroplastic debris. Apart from it, of the many kinds of labelled macroplastic debris found, plastic beverage bottles were the most prevalent type of macroplastic debris and followed by food wrappers, constituting 66.2% of the total abundance by number in Hong Kong. Additionally, particular attention should be given to the blooming threat brought by improperly disposed face masks under the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Further research on the spatial-temporal variation of the stranded shoreline macroplastic debris will help formulate strategic policies to address this problem in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Honours Project (HP)
  • Bachelor of Education (Honours) (Geography) (Five-year Full-time)
  • Programme code: A5B084
  • Course code: GGP4016

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