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Crowd-Based Observations of Riverine Macroplastic Pollution

van Emmerik, Tim and Seibert, Jan and Strobl, Barbara and Etter, Simon and den Oudendammer, Tijmen and Rutten, Martine and Razak, Mohd Shahrizal bin Ab and van Meerveld, Ilja (2020). Crowd-Based Observations of Riverine Macroplastic Pollution. Frontiers in Earth Science. 8 , 298
[Journal article]

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Abstract

Macroplastic pollution (> 0.5 cm) negatively impacts aquatic life and threatens human livelihood on land, in oceans and river systems. Reliable information on the origin, fate and pathways of plastic in river systems is required to optimize prevention, mitigation and reduction strategies. Yet, accurate and long-term data on plastic transport are still lacking. Current macroplastic monitoring strategies involve labor intensive sampling methods, require investment in infrastructure, and are therefore infrequent. Crowd-based observations of riverine macroplastic pollution may potentially provide frequent cost-effective data collection over a large geographical range. We extended the CrowdWater citizen science app for hydrological observations with a module for observations of plastic in rivers. In this paper, we demonstrate the potential of crowd-based observations of floating macroplastic and macroplastic on riverbanks. We analyzed data from two case studies: (1) floating plastic measured in the Klang (Malaysia), and (2) plastic on riverbanks along the Rhine (the Netherlands). Crowd-based observations of floating plastic in the Klang yield similar estimates of plastic transport (2,000-3,000 items h(-1)), cross-sectional distribution (3-7 percent point difference) and polymer categories (0-6 percent point difference) as reference observations. It also highlighted the high temporal variation in riverine plastic transport. The riverbank observations provided the first data of macroplastic pollution on the most downstream stretch of the Rhine, revealing peaks close to urban areas and an increasing plastic density toward the river mouth. The mean riverbank density estimates are also similar for the crowd-based and reference methods (573-1,033 items km(-1)). These results highlight the value of including crowd-based riverine macroplastic observations in future monitoring strategies. Crowd-based observations may provide reliable estimations of plastic transport, density, spatiotemporal variation and composition for a larger number of locations than conventional methods.

Authors/Creators:van Emmerik, Tim and Seibert, Jan and Strobl, Barbara and Etter, Simon and den Oudendammer, Tijmen and Rutten, Martine and Razak, Mohd Shahrizal bin Ab and van Meerveld, Ilja
Title:Crowd-Based Observations of Riverine Macroplastic Pollution
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:8
Article number:298
Number of Pages:12
ISSN:2296-6463
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
Keywords:citizen science, hydrology, plastic, marine litter, riverbank plastic, floating debris, Rhine, Klang
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107838
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107838
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.3389/feart.2020.00298
Web of Science (WoS)000565655000001
ID Code:17582
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:23 Sep 2020 15:15
Metadata Last Modified:23 Sep 2020 15:21

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