Abundance and Distribution of Suspended Microplastics in the Surface Water of Chao Phraya River Estuary

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Suwanna Kitpati Boontanon
Phyo Zaw Oo
Narin Boontanon
Shuhei Tanaka
Shigeo Fujii


This study investigated the abundance and distribution of microplastics in the surface water of Chao Phraya River Estuary and estimated the possible emission sources. Three surface water samples were collected by Manta trawl and then sample pretreatment steps were performed, and analyzed using Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). The results indicated the prevalence of microplastics with the mean concentration of 2.3 ´ 105 particles/km2 in the Chao Phraya river estuary, representing high microplastics pollution. The collected microplastics were categorized into different size ranges, shapes, colors and chemical structures. The smallest size range (335 to 515 microns) was the most abundant size approximately 70% of total collected microplastics. The abundance of larger size ranges of MPs significantly decreased with distance far from the land but the smallest size range remained nearly the same quantity. The dominant shapes of MPs were film and fragment with white and transparent colors indicated that these were derived from the fragmentation of mismanaged plastic waste from the land as the secondary MPs. The result of this study provides the overview of microplastics pollution in the study area to the government and environmental organizations to enforce to reduce the plastics usage and to improve the solid waste management to prevent plastic debris from entering the estuary.


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