Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on microplastic abundance along the River Thames.

Devereux, Ria, Ayati, Bamdad, Westhead, Elizabeth Kebede, Jayaratne, Ravindra and Newport, Darryl (2023) Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on microplastic abundance along the River Thames. Marine pollution bulletin, 189. ISSN 1879-3363

Impact of the Covid19 pandemic on microplastic abundance---.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (10MB) | Preview


In April 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic changed human behaviour worldwide, creating an increased demand for plastic, especially single-use plastic in the form of personal protective equipment. The pandemic also provided a unique situation for plastic pollution studies, especially microplastic studies. This study looks at the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and three national lockdowns on microplastic abundance at five sites along the river Thames, UK, compared to pre-Covid-19 levels. This study took place from May 2019-May 2021, with 3-L water samples collected monthly from each site starting at Teddington and ending at Southend-on-Sea. A total of 4480 pieces, the majority of fibres (82.1 %), were counted using light microscopy. Lockdown 2 (November 2020) had the highest average microplastic total (27.1 L ). A total of 691 pieces were identified via Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR). Polyvinyl chloride (36.19 %) made up the most microplastics identified. This study documents changes in microplastic abundance before, during and after the Covid-19 pandemic, an unprecedented event, as well as documenting microplastic abundance along the river Thames from 2019 to 2021. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Microplastics, Covid-19, River Thames
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Other Departments (Central units) > Research & Enterprise
SWORD Depositor: Pub Router
Depositing User: Pub Router
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2023 15:23
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2023 15:23

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year