Izvestiya of Saratov University.

Earth Sciences

ISSN 1819-7663 (Print)
ISSN 2542-1921 (Online)

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Fragmentation of Plastic Garbage in the Surf Zone of the Sea: a Laboratory Experiment on the Example of Expanded Polystyrene

Efimova Irina V., Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University
Chubarenko Irina P., Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, Russian Academy of Sciences

Pollution of the coastal zone of the sea by plastic debris is an important environmental problem. Especially dangerous are small particles (microplastic), as birds and fish mistake it for food. The article deals with the process of destruction of foamed polystyrene – one of the most frequently encountered pollutants – in the surf zone of the sea. Experiments in a rotating laboratory mixer made it possible to analyze both the change in the qualitative characteristics of the samples during the destruction process and the increase in the number of microplastic particles with time. Estimates showed that the complete destruction of foamed polystyrene up to micro-particles (<5 mm) in the surf zone of the sea with coarse sedimentary material occurs after 3–6 days.


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