A threshold model of plastic waste fragmentation: new insights into the distribution of microplastics in the ocean and its evolution over time - Laboratoire Charles Coulomb (L2C) Access content directly
Journal Articles Marine Pollution Bulletin Year : 2024

A threshold model of plastic waste fragmentation: new insights into the distribution of microplastics in the ocean and its evolution over time

Matthieu George
Frédéric Nallet
Pascale Fabre

Abstract

Plastic pollution in the aquatic environment has been assessed for many years by ocean waste collection expeditions around the globe or by river sampling. While the total amount of plastic produced worldwide is well documented, the amount of plastic found in the ocean, the distribution of particles on its surface and its evolution over time are still the subject of much debate. In this article, we propose a general fragmentation model, postulating the existence of a critical size below which particle fragmentation becomes extremely unlikely. In the frame of this model, an abundance peak appears for sizes around 1mm, in agreement with real environmental data. Using, in addition, a realistic exponential waste feed to the ocean, we discuss the relative impact of fragmentation and feed rates, and the temporal evolution of microplastics (MP) distribution. New conclusions on the temporal trend of MP pollution are drawn.
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hal-04399066 , version 1 (17-01-2024)

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Attribution - NonCommercial - ShareAlike

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Matthieu George, Frédéric Nallet, Pascale Fabre. A threshold model of plastic waste fragmentation: new insights into the distribution of microplastics in the ocean and its evolution over time. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 2024, 199, pp.116012. ⟨10.1016/j.marpolbul.2023.116012⟩. ⟨hal-04399066⟩
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