Microplastic Polymers in Surface Waters and Sediments in the Creeks Along the Kenya Coast, Western Indian Ocean (WIO)
Joyce O Kerubo 1 * , John M Onyari 2, Agnes W N Muthumbi 1, Deborah Robertson Andersson 3 4, Edward Ndirui Kimani 5
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1 School of Biological Sciences University of Nairobi, Nairobi, KENYA2 Department of Chemistry, School of Physical Sciences, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, KENYA3 School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, SOUTH AFRICA4 Chrysalis Nature Training, Kei Mouth, SOUTH AFRICA5 Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Mombasa, KENYA* Corresponding Author


Whereas the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) has been reported to be polluted with microplastics (MPs). Documented information on the specific polymeric composition of these particles in seawater and sediments along the Kenya coast is insufficient. This study assessed the abundance and types of microplastic polymers in the region. Microplastics were sampled from surface water using 500µm neuston nets and from the sediments using a 3.6 cm-diameter corer. Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) were used to identify the MPs polymer types. Four polymer types were identified of which, high-density polyethene was the most abundant at 38.3%, followed by polypropylene (34.6%), low-density polyethene (27.1 %), and medium density polyethene (17.1%). The results demonstrate the extent of exposure to microplastics of the region’s ecosystems and provide the impetus for proper policy briefs regarding the management and disposal of plastic waste, protect and save oceans rich in biodiversity for sustainable development.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

EUR J SUSTAIN DEV RES, Volume 6, Issue 1, 2022, Article No: em0177


Publication date: 20 Dec 2021

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