Environmental status of marine plastic pollution in Spain
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AuthorMartín Lara, María Ángeles; Godoy Calero, Verónica; Quesada, Lucía; Lozano, E. J.; Calero De Hoces, Francisca Mónica
Marine pollutionMicroplasticsPlastic pollution in beachesPlastic pollution in biotaWaste management
M.A. Martín-Lara et al. Environmental status of marine plastic pollution in Spain. Marine Pollution Bulletin 170 (2021) 112677 [https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2021.112677]
The excessive use of plastic in our society is causing a massive accumulation, since it is a non-biodegradable product and with still poor recycling rates. This effect can be observed in the seas, which more and more plastic waste are accumulating. The present work is a critical review, based on all currently available literature, that reports environmental status of marine plastic pollution, especially microplastic pollution, in Spain. The three Spanish water areas with the highest presence of plastics are the Alboran Sea, the Gulf of Alicante and the vicinity of Barcelona probably related to fishing and industrial activities and high population densities. With regard to microplastic contamination on beaches in Spain, annual monitoring by the Spanish government shows contamination along the entire coast of the country, with particularly high concentrations in the Canary Islands (between 800 and 8800 particles/m2 in spring). Between 40 and 50% of the particles analyzed were pellets and the main factors postulated for the distribution of these particles are marine currents and the geomorphological characteristics. With regards to biota, ingestion of microplastics by fish has been intensely confirmed and, important differences were observed between the locations of the sampling, being bogues (Boops boops) one of the fish species more studied in Spain. Finally, the work includes a revision of European and Spanish legislation about plastics and marine pollution and some strategies to reduce this kind of contamination in Spain.