Seasonality of riverine macroplastic transport

Tim van Emmerik*, Emilie Strady, Thuy Chung Kieu-Le, Luan Nguyen, Nicolas Gratiot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Marine plastic pollution is an increasing environmental threat. Although it is assumed that most marine plastics are transported from land to the ocean through rivers, only limited data on riverine plastic transport exists. Recently, new methods have been introduced to characterize riverine plastics consistently through time and space. For example, combining visual counting observations and plastic debris sampling can provide order of magnitude estimations of plastic transport through a river. In this paper, we present findings from multi-season measurement campaign in the Saigon River, Vietnam. For the first time, we demonstrate that macroplastic transport exhibits strong temporal variation. The monthly averaged plastic transport changes up to a factor five within the measurement period. As it is unclear what drives the variation in plastic transport, relations between rainfall, river discharge, presence of organic material and plastic transport have been explored. Furthermore, we present new findings on the cross-sectional and vertical distribution of riverine plastic transport. With this paper we present new insights in the origin and fate of riverine plastic transport, emphasizing the severity of the emerging thread of plastic pollution on riverine ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13549
Number of pages1
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2019

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Seasonality of riverine macroplastic transport'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this