This work studied the accumulation of plastic debris in a remote beach located in La Graciosa island (Chinijo archipelago, Canary Islands). Microplastics were sampled in the 1–5 mm mesh opening range. An average plastic density of 36.3 g/m² was obtained with a large variability along the 90 m of the beach (from 8.5 g/m² to 103.4 g/m²). Microplastic particles preferentially accumulated in the part of the beach protected by rocks. A total number of 9149 plastic particles were collected, recorded and measured, 87% of which corresponded to fragments. Clear colours and microscopic evidence of weathering corresponded to aged plastics wind-driven by the surface Canary Current. The chemical composition of plastics particles corresponded to PE (63%), PP (32%) and PS (3%). Higher PE/PP ratios were recorded in the more protected parts of the beach, suggesting preferential accumulation of more aged fragments.
Marine debris, marine pollution, microplastics, FTIR, Raman
Edo, C., Tamayo-Belda, M., Martínez-Campos, D., Martín-Betancor, K., González-Pleiter, M., Pulido-Reyes, G., García-Ruiza, C., Zapata, F., Leganés, F., Fernández-Piñas, F., Rosal, R. (2019): Occurrence and identification of microplastics along a beach in the Biosphere Reserve of Lanzarote. Marine Pollution Bulletin 143:220–227