Microlitter (0.5-5mm) concentrations in water column (depth range from 0 to 217.5m) of the main Baltic Proper basins are reported. In total, 95 water samples collected in 6 research cruises in 2015-2016 in the Bornholm, Gdansk, and Gotland basins were analysed. Water from 10- and 30-litre Niskin bathometers was filtered through the 174µm filters, and the filtrate was examined under optical microscope (40×). The bulk mean concentration was 0.40±0.58 items per litre, with fibres making 77% of them. Other types of particles are the paint flakes (19%) and fragments (4%); no microbeads or pellets. The highest concentrations are found in the near-bottom samples from the coastal zone (2.2-2.7 items per litre max) and from near-surface waters (0.5m) in the Bornholm basin (5 samples, 1.6-2.5 items per litre). Distribution of particles over depths, types, and geographical regions is presented.
We report a mortality event of Red Phalaropes (Phalaropus fulicarius) that occurred from October to November 2016 on the north coast of British Columbia, Canada. All individuals were severely underweight and showing signs of physiological stress. The guts of all carcasses contained ingested plastics (100%, n?=?9). Distribution modelling from pelagic bird surveys (1990-2010) indicated that Red Phalaropes are not typically found in the study area during fall months. Ocean conditions during fall 2016 were unusually warm, coinciding with reduced upwelling in the study area. eBird records since 1980 indicated Red Phalaropes are observed closer to shore during periods associated with reduced upwelling. These results suggest that distribution shifts of Red Phalaropes closer to shore, where plastic debris occurs in higher concentrations, may lead phalaropes to feed on plastic debris while in a weakened state, resulting in a combination of two adverse circumstances.
Organic wastes, such as the organic fractions of municipal solid waste (OFMSW) or sewage sludge (SS), have become a serious environmental problem in Russia as well as in other countries. The use of these wastes as soil amendments allows their negative impact on the environment to be minimized. However, before these wastes can be used, they need to be treated appropriately in order to decrease their level of hazard. In this study, composting of raw SS, OFMSW, a mixture of these two wastes (OFMSW+SS) at a ratio 1:2 as well as the anaerobically digested variants of these wastes (SSd, OFMSWd and OFMSWd+SSd) mixed with oiled sawdust was performed. Composting was conducted in the containers containing 20kg of the wastes. The results of three elutriate bioassays (with water flea Daphnia magna, infusoria Paramecium caudatum and radish plant, Raphanus sativus) and one contact bioassay (with oat plant Avena sativa) were used to indirectly estimate changes in the hazardous properties of the biological treatments. Besides, Corg, Ntot content and pH were analyzed in the process of composting. Within the study stability tests to determine maturation process completion were not carried out. It was revealed, that in the process of anaerobic pretreatment for 15days, the toxicity increased by a mean of 1.3-, 1.9- and 1.1-fold for OFMSW, SS and OFMSW+SS, respectively. During composting, the toxicity level of these pretreated samples decreased more rapidly as compared with those which were not pretreated. As a result, the toxicity levels of the elutriates from the final composts made of pretreated wastes OFMSW, SS and OFMSW+SS were three-, two- and 17-fold lower for D. magna and 15-, 21- and 12-fold lower for P. caudatum. As follows from phytotoxicity estimations, composts from digested substrates became mature on the 60th day and had a stimulation effect on the plants after the 90th day of incubation. For the composts prepared from raw substrates, a significantly longer period was needed for maturation. On the basis of ecotoxicity changes of the wastes treated, it can be concluded that anaerobic pretreatment of the municipal solid wastes is an effective acceleration tool for further composting and that waste mixtures can be treated more efficient as compared with raw wastes.
This study presents a detailed characterization of Shredder residues (SR) generated and deposited in Denmark from 1990 to 2010. It represents approximately 85% of total Danish SR. A comprehensive sampling, size fractionation and chemical analysis was carried out on entire samples as well as on each individual size fraction. All significant elemental contents except oxygen were analyzed. The unexplained "balance" was subsequently explained by oxygen content in metal oxides, carbonates, sulphates and in organics, mainly cellulose. Using mass and calorific balance approaches, it was possible to balance the composition and, thereby, estimate the degree of oxidation of elements including metals. This revealed that larger fractions (>10mm, 10-4mm, 4-1mm) contain significant amount of valuable free metals for recovery. The fractionation revealed that the >10mm coarse fraction was the largest amount of SR being 35-40% (w/w) with a metal content constituting about 4-9% of the total SR by weight and the
Increased plastic consumption and poor waste management have resulted in litter representing an ever-increasing threat to the marine environment. To identify sources and evaluate mitigation measures, beach litter has been monitored. Using data from two citizen science protocols (CSPs) and OSPAR monitoring of Norwegian beaches, this study 1) identifies the most abundant litter types, 2) compares OSPAR to citizen science data, and 3) examines how to improve the management relevance of beach litter data. The dominant litter types were; food and drink- and fishery related items, and unidentifiable plastic pieces. Data from CSPs are consistent with OSPAR data in abundance and diversity, although few OSPAR beaches limit verification of CSP data. In contrast to OSPAR, the CSPs estimate the weight of the litter. CSPs lack important variables which could explain why some litter types are abundant in some particular areas. The latter could be improved by recording GPS positions.
Recent data indicate accumulation areas of marine litter in Arctic waters and significant increases over time. Beaches on remote Arctic islands may be sinks for marine litter and reflect pollution levels of the surrounding waters particularly well. We provide the first quantitative data from surveys carried out by citizen scientists on six beaches of Svalbard. Litter quantities recorded by cruise tourists varied from 9-524gm-2 and were similar to those from densely populated areas. Plastics accounted for >80% of the overall litter, most of which originated from fisheries. Photographs provided by citizens show deleterious effects of beach litter on Arctic wildlife, which is already under strong pressure from global climate change. Our study highlights the potential of citizen scientists to provide scientifically valuable data on the pollution of sensitive remote ecosystems. The results stress once more that current legislative frameworks are insufficient to tackle the pollution of Arctic ecosystems.
Hydrolyzed protein-rich byproducts from food production may find a variety of applications, for example, as rich ingredients of fermentation media. We have conducted a study of the enzymatic hydrolysis of three byproducts from Norwegian food industries: chicken byproducts, mixed pork and beef byproducts, and salmon viscera. The efficiency and optimization of the enzymatic hydrolysis were evaluated using endogenous enzymes alone and in combination with commercial proteases. Hydrolysis reactions were conducted with freshly thawed raw materials using short incubation times and including an initial temperature gradient from 4 to 60 °C to both harness the power of endogenous enzymes and minimize microbial contamination. Subsequently, hydrolysates were characterized by analyzing the total recovery of protein, the peptide molecular-weight distribution, and the composition of total and free amino acids. The action of endogenous enzymes played an important role in raw-material hydrolysis, particularly when hydrolyzing salmon viscera but less so when hydrolyzing chicken byproducts. For pork-beef and chicken byproducts, the addition of Alcalase or Papain improved protein recovery, reaching levels up to 90%. Next to showing efficient hydrolysis protocols, the present data also provide a comparison of the amino acid compositions of hydrolysates derived from these three different protein-rich byproducts. Growth studies showed that the obtained protein-rich hydrolysates from meat and fish industries are a promising alternative for expensive nitrogen sources that are commonly used for fermenting yeasts.
In coastal waters the identification of sources, trajectories and deposition sites of marine litter is often hampered by the complex oceanography of shallow shelf seas. We conducted a multi-annual survey on litter at the sea surface and on the seafloor in the south-eastern North Sea. Bottom trawling was identified as a major source of marine litter. Oceanographic modelling revealed that the distribution of floating litter in the North Sea is largely determined by the site of origin of floating objects whereas the trajectories are strongly influenced by wind drag. Methods adopted from species distribution modelling indicated that resuspension of benthic litter and near-bottom transport processes strongly influence the distribution of litter on the seafloor. Major sink regions for floating marine litter were identified at the west coast of Denmark and in the Skagerrak. Our results may support the development of strategies to reduce the pollution of the North Sea.
Plastic waste is of increasing concern in the aquatic environment. A large proportion of plastic waste is generated onshore from where it eventually reaches the marine environment, which is considered the main sink of plastic debris To date there is a substantial lack of knowledge on the composition of these accumulated polymers, their environmental levels and distribution in marine and coastal areas. Current efforts are underway to develop standardized methods to characterize and quantify the occurrence of microplastic in different environmental matrices using microscopy-oriented methods using Fourier Transformed Infra-Red (FTIR) or Raman techniques. However, time-consuming sample preparation, processing and interpretation of complex data limits their use within monitoring programs. As an alternative, a thermal degradation method based on a gas chromatographic mass spectrometer coupled with pyrolysis represents a validated method for qualitative and quantitative polymer analyses. A technique has been developed that combines sample preparation and thermo-analysis for identifying microplastics in samples of marine sediment. Quantification and polymeric composition of plastic particles found in sediment samples taken from ten sites located in Boknafjorden subjected to diverse sources of pollution and anthropogenic pressure were investigated. Plastic microparticles were extracted from 8?kg of wet sediments per site, purified, size-fractionated thorough a set of stainless-steel certified sieves covering the range of 10-250 µm mesh size, pre-concentrated on fiberglass filters and whole filters analyzed by thermal desorption pyrolysis gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Most of the detected polymers were identified as polypropylene, polyethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polyvinylchloride, polystyrene or polyamide. In most of the sites, the largest fraction of the extracted micro debris fell in the size range 10-40?µm. Some shifts in size distribution were also observed in some sites and were likely related to the marine sea bottom currents and the influence of specific anthropogenic activities. The adopted thermal degradation method showed good sensitivity, reliability and rapidity and therefore represents a promising technique for microplastic analysis within monitoring activities.
Plastic pollution is global environmental contaminant. Plastic particulates break down into smaller fragments in the environment, and these small pieces are now commonly found to be ingested by animals. To date, most plastic ingestion studies have focused on assessing retained plastics or regurgitated plastics, but it is likely that animals also excrete plastic and other debris items. We examined the terminal portion of the gastrointestinal tract of a seabird known to commonly ingest plastics, the Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis), to determine if seabirds excrete microplastics and other debris via their guano. We also examine how guano collections may be used as an indicator of retained plastics. The frequency of occurrence of microplastics did not correlate between the gut and faecal precursor samples, but there was a positive relationship between the number of pieces of plastics in the gut and the number of microplastics in the guano. Our findings suggest that seabirds are acting as vectors of microplastics and debris in the marine environment where their guano accumulates around their colonies. This transport of microplastics and debris by colonial seabirds needs to be further examined, and considered when designing environmental monitoring for microplastics in regions where seabird colonies are found.