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The Journey of Plastic trough Oceans: A study on quantifying micro plastic particles in ocean outside Costa Rican west coast
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science.
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Since 1950, the plastic production has increased radically from 1.5 to 280 million tons in 2012. The increased production of plastic has led to oceans becoming more polluted than ever. Micro plastic particles originate from large floating plastic debris by undergoing degradation caused by UV-radiation. Due to their small size, density and colour micro plastic particles resemble marine organisms’ natural prey and are therefore ingested. This report discuss the hypotheses that there are micro plastic particles present in oceans outside of the Costa Rican west coast (hypothesis 1), that the location between the South and North Pacific gyres will result in an accumulation of plastic (hypothesis 2) and that different sampling methods will generate different types of data which makes it difficult to compare results (hypothesis 3). A manta trawl was used to collect samples in size range 1-2mm and they were quantified with a microscope. To simplifying transportation and storing, aluminum foil was used instead of glass jars to collect samples. Thereby the need of transferring material from a glass jar to a flat surface for quantifying with microscope was eliminated. One area contained 56.5 % of all gathered particles together. The result also showed that micro plastic particles are present even in protected areas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
plastic marine pollutions, micro plastic particles, marine debris, marine litter, plastic production
National Category
Environmental Sciences Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-28822OAI: diva2:826522
Subject / course
Environmental Science
2015-06-25, Halmstad, 13:32 (English)
Available from: 2015-06-26 Created: 2015-06-25 Last updated: 2015-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Environmental SciencesOceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources

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