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Environ Anal Health Toxicol > Volume 34:2019 > Article
Environmental Analysis Health and Toxicology 2019;34(4):e2019012-0. doi: https://doi.org/10.5620/eaht.e2019012
Macrodebris and microplastics pollution in Nigeria: first report on abundance, distribution and composition
Enyoh Christian Ebere1, Verla Andrew Wirnkor1, Verla Evelyn Ngozi2, Ihenetu Stanley Chukwuemeka1
1Group Research in Analytical Chemistry, Environment and Climate change (GRACE&CC), Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo, Nigeria
2Department of Environmental Technology, School of Environmental Technology Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo, Nigeria
Corresponding Author: Enyoh Christian Ebere ,Email: Cenyoh@gmail.com
Received: October 4, 2019;  Accepted: December 7, 2019.
ABSTRACT
The abundance, distribution and composition of marine debris ( > 5 cm) and small microplastics (11 μm) from five rivers in South Eastern Nigeria was investigated. This study provided the first assessment of the type and quantity of marine litter and microplastics in Nigeria. A total of 3,487 macrodebris items/m2 were counted with the following distribution: plastics (59%), metal (10%), cloth (7%), paper/cardboard (7%), rubber (7%), glass/ceramics (5%), medical and agro-based waste (3%), and wood (2%). The cleanliness of the river assessed with clean coast index ranged from “very clean” to “extremely dirty”. Microplastics abundance ranged from 440 to 1,556 particles/L, with high accumulation at downstream. Fragment shape was most abundant while fiber and film followed. The distribution of plastic types was PET (29%), PE (22%), PVC (16%), PP (14%), and others (6%). Significant relationship was found between the total abundances of microplastics and different macrodebris groups suggesting that microplastics were abundant in areas where the macrodebris abundance was high. Our results provide baseline information for future assessments. Management actions should focus on input prevention including proper waste management, recycling of plastics, and strict penalties for illegal dumping of wastes.
Keywords: Anthropogenic activities, Coastal pollution, marine litter, Nigeria environment, Plastics, micropollutants
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