Microplastic occurrence in the coastal sediments of selected barangays of Anilao, Iloilo, Philippines

DANIELLE ANLEIGH B. COLACION, ELOISA MARIE M. SAN DIEGO, JUSTIN REY P. SECONDES, and ZENNIFER L. OBERIO

Philippine Science High School – Western Visayas Campus, Brgy. Bito-on, Jaro, Iloilo City 5000, Department of Science and Technology, Philippines


Abstract

Microplastics have been identified as a significant threat towards aquatic ecosystems and human life as they can easily be ingested due to their microscopic size. Due to this, there has been a demand to conduct research on the occurrence of the material. However, there is currently a lack of studies pertaining to the problem in the Philippines despite it being an archipelago. This paper presents the investigation of microplastic occurrence in the coastal sediments of Anilao, Iloilo, Philippines. Sediment samples were collected and were subjected to sieving, density separation, and wet peroxide oxidation for microplastic extraction. The acquired microplastics were observed under a compound inverted microscope for quantification and classification, and analyzed using ATR-FTIR spectroscopy for the identification of their chemical compositions. The study found that fibers and fragments comprise the majority of the extracted microplastics. It was also determined that a total of approximately 1 particle/g d.w., 5 particles/g d.w., and 2 particles/g d.w. constitute the sediments collected from Barangays Dangula-an, Pantalan, and San Carlos, respectively. Only two microplastic particles were successfully analyzed by FTIR and both were identified to be polyethylene.

Keywords: microplastics, abundance, composition, fibers, fishing

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