Anthropogenic litter composition and distribution along a chemical contamination gradient at Santos Estuarine System-Brazil

Ribeiro V. V. , Yokota Harayashiki C. A. , Ertas A., Castro I. B.

REGIONAL STUDIES IN MARINE SCIENCE, vol.46, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.rsma.2021.101902


Anthropogenic litter (AL) distribution was assessed on beaches presenting different levels of urban occupation at Santos Estuarine System. Plastics and cigarette butts were the items most found at sampling sites. Plastic items sub-categories, such as cotton buds, lids, microcentrifuge tubes, pellets, and polystyrene foam, presented sources related to industrial, tourism and port activities, and sewage discharges. The contamination gradient already reported for hazardous chemical levels was also observed for AL. Litter categories related to local and allochthonous sources presented a gradient of spatial distribution. Although touristic activities are an impactful and variable factor, the number of inhabitants was positively correlated with most AL categories. The semi-urban beach (S1) was classified as extremely dirty, and it was mostly covered by hazardous AL. The semi-remote (S2) and remote (S3) beaches were classified as moderate and clean with some or few hazardous AL, respectively. Therefore, urban and hydrodynamic gradients drive marine litter distribution on studied zone. (c) 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.