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What's in the soup? Visual characterization and polymer analysis of microplastics from an Indonesian manta ray feeding ground

Argeswara, J., Hendrawan, I.G., Dharma, I.G.B.S. and Germanov, E. (2021) What's in the soup? Visual characterization and polymer analysis of microplastics from an Indonesian manta ray feeding ground. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 168 . Art. 112427.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112427
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Abstract

Plastics in marine environments vary in their physical and chemical properties, influencing their risk to biota once ingested. Manta rays are large filter-feeders that ingest plastics. To assess this risk, we characterized the plastics in a critical feeding habitat off Nusa Penida, Indonesia. We examined the color and polymer composition of sampled small-sized plastics (<30 mm). Plastics were mostly secondary microplastics and transparent (46%), white/off-white (24%), and blue/green (22%). Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy of plastics grouped according to type (films, fragments, foam, or lines) and color indicated that most plastics were polyethylene (PE) or polypropylene (PP) (99%), with the remainder polystyrene and polyester. Visual characterization aligned with single polymer composition in seven out of ten groups. Although PE and PP have relatively low toxicity compared to other plastics, their composing monomers and associated pollutants and microbes are of concern to manta rays and other marine biota.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Environmental and Conservation Sciences
Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems
Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/60880
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