Maritim Pollution Bulletin


Publication of an article entitled “Novel methodology to isolate microplastics from vegetal-rich samples” in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.

To obtain reliable and reproducible data on microplastic contamination and to investigate its effects on marine biota and the environment, it would be beneficial to first harmonize and standardize the sampling, extraction, and quantification methods that are being used by the scientific community. To date, techniques to separate microplastics from vegetal material have not been developed and, yet, they are urgently needed.

The aim of the study “Novel methodology to isolate microplastics from vegetal-rich samples” was to find an effective methodology for separating organic plant matter from micropastic samples collected on beach monitoring. Five digestion methods and one density separation procedure using ethanol were tested. Our results showed that the best protocol to isolate microplastics from vegetal-rich samples was density separation with 96% ethanol.

This simple, inexpensive and safe procedure is suitable to be included in the protocols for extracting microplastics from beach samples, in order to harmonize the methodologies to meet the monitoring requirements of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC).

Free download until April 3’: