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Research articles

ScienceAsia 46 (2020): 336-343 |doi: 10.2306/scienceasia1513-1874.2020.042

Occurrence of microplastics on beach sediment at Libong, a pristine island in Andaman Sea, Thailand

Siriporn Pradita,b,*, Prawit Towatanaa,b, Thongchai Nitiratsuwanc, Suthep Jualaongd, Monticha Jirajarusa, Kittiwara Sornplanga,b, Prakrit Noppradita,b, Yardtip Darakaia, Chaiyapruk Weerawonge

ABSTRACT:     Microplastic pollution is a global issue and a hot issue in Thailand. This is the first assessment of microplastics at Libong, a pristine island, located in Andaman Sea. The investigation was carried out by collecting the sediment from beach and mudflat areas of the island in May and July, 2019. Three class sizes of microplastics were determined: greater than 5 mm, 18 pieces; 1?5 mm, 28 pieces; and less than 1 mm, 129 pieces. The total number of microplastics from beach sediment was greater than that from the mudflat sediment. The discovered microplastics were mainly constituted of fibers (59%) and fragments (41%). A great variety of colors were found, and white (43% from beach, 41% from mudflat area) was the most common, followed by blue (9% from beach, 35% from mudflat) and red (12% from beach, 6% from mudflat). Polymers identified by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer consisted of poly vinyl chloride (PVC), polypropylene (PP Nike outlet), Nylon, Polyethylene (PE), Polyester, Polyacrylate (PA) and polymer with a structure similar to EPDM rubber.

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a Marine and Coastal Resources Institute, Faculty of Environmental Management, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla 90110 Thailand
b Coastal Oceanography and Climate Change Research Center, Prince of Songkla University, Songkhla 90110 Thailand
c Faculty of Science and Fisheries Technology, Trang Campus, Rajamangala University of Technology Srivijaya, Trang 92150 Thailand
d Marine and Coastal Resources Research, the Eastern Gulf of Thailand, Department of Marine and Coastal Resources, Thailand
e Mu Ko Libong Non-hunting Area, Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, Thailand

* Corresponding author, E-mail: siriporn.pra@psu.ac.th

Received 27 Jan 2020, Accepted 16 May 2020