Modelled and observed plastic pollution on remote Scottish beaches: The importance of local marine sources.

Beach-cleans conducted on the west coast of Scotland investigated the distribution of land- and marine-sourced litter and compared these with a particle tracking model representing the presumed principal land-based source. Modelled particles dispersed widely, even reaching the remote northwest coast, with ‘hotspots’ and ‘coldspots’ on windward and leeward coasts respectively. In beach sampling, however, land-sourced litter represented only 19% of items by count and 8% by weight, while marine-sourced litter represented 46% by count and 62% by weight. The source of the remainder could not be identified. Windward coasts had an average count of 1859 litter items per 100 m, and weight of 14,862 g per 100 m. Leeward coasts had an average count of 32 litter items per 100 m and weight of 738 g per 100 m. Field observations and model predictions were consistent in many respects for land-sourced litter, however marine-sourced litter is dominant on many coastlines. 


Allison NL, Dale AC, Turrell WR, Narayanaswamy BE

Marine Pollution Bulletin 194
08, 16, 2023
Pages: 115341
DOI: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2023.115341