Characterization of foamed plastic litter on Danish reference beaches – Pollution assessment and multivariate exploratory analysis

Louise Feld, Vitor Hugo da Silva, Jakob Strand

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Foamed litter comprise a significant amount of the pollution at beaches globally. This group represents a variety of foamed items and fragments originating from different applications and sources. Although foamed plastic contributes importantly to the marine environmental pollution, there is generally limited knowledge of the composition of this litter pool. The aim of this study was to characterize item types and polymer materials of foamed litter from six Danish reference beaches during the period 2018–2021. The foamed litter were classified into ten categories, including identifiable items, as well as fragments of foamed PS, or pieces of other foamed polymers of rigid or flexible sponges. Foamed PS (42%) and PUR (49%) were identified as the dominant polymers by FTIR analysis. Multivariate exploratory analysis was performed to investigate PUR foam, and specific spectra features for rigid and flexible foam were demonstrated. Furthermore, we assessed different correlation methods for identification of PUR foams.
Original languageEnglish
Article number113774
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

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