Modelled and observed plastic pollution on remote Scottish beaches: the importance of local marine sources

Nicole L. Allison*, Andrew C. Dale, William R. Turrell, Bhavani E. Narayanaswamy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Beach-cleans conducted on the west coast of Scotland investigated the distribution of land- and marine-sourced litter and compared these with a particle tracking model representing the presumed principal land-based source. Modelled particles dispersed widely, even reaching the remote northwest coast, with ‘hotspots’ and ‘coldspots’ on windward and leeward coasts respectively. In beach sampling, however, land-sourced litter represented only 19% of items by count and 8% by weight, while marine-sourced litter represented 46% by count and 62% by weight. The source of the remainder could not be identified. Windward coasts had an average count of 1859 litter items per 100 m, and weight of 14,862 g per 100 m. Leeward coasts had an average count of 32 litter items per 100 m and weight of 738 g per 100 m. Field observations and model predictions were consistent in many respects for land-sourced litter, however marine-sourced litter is dominant on many coastlines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number115341
Number of pages13
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Volume194
Issue numberPart A
Early online date16 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2023

Keywords

  • ALDFG
  • Beach-cleans
  • Beached plastics
  • Domestic litter
  • Fishing litter
  • Scotland

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