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Global review of beach debris monitoring and future recommendations

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Serra-Goncalves, C, Lavers, JL ORCID: 0000-0001-7596-6588 and Bond, AL 2019 , 'Global review of beach debris monitoring and future recommendations' , Environmental Science and Technology, vol. 53, no. 21 , pp. 12158-12167 , doi: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01424.

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Abstract

Marine debris is distributed worldwide and constitutes an increasing threat to our environment. The exponential increase of plastic debris raises numerous concerns and has led to an intensification in plastic monitoring and research. However, global spatial and temporal patterns and knowledge gaps in debris distribution, both on land and at sea, are relatively poorly understood, mainly due to a lack of comprehensive datasets. Here we critically review the quality of the available information on beach plastic debris worldwide to highlight where the most urgent actions are required, and to promote the standardization of reporting metrics and sampling methods among researchers. From a total of 174 studies evaluated, 27.0% reported marine debris densities in metrics that were not comparable. Some studies failed to report basic parameters, such as the date of the sampling (9.8%) or the size of the collected debris (19.5%). Our findings show that current research regarding beach debris requires significant improvement and standardization and would benefit from the adoption of a common reporting framework to promote consensus within the scientific community.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Serra-Goncalves, C and Lavers, JL and Bond, AL
Keywords: systematic review, plastic pollution, marine debris, reporting metrics, standardised methods
Journal or Publication Title: Environmental Science and Technology
Publisher: Amer Chemical Soc
ISSN: 0013-936X
DOI / ID Number: 10.1021/acs.est.9b01424
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2019 American Chemical Society

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