Research Article

Microplastic Pollution in the Coast of Tarragona, Spain: A Western Mediterranean Study  

Fernando Condal1 , Isabel Pellicer2
1 Rambla Prim Institute (Department of Environment; IRP), C/ de Cristóbal de Moura, 223, 08019 Barcelona, Spain
2 Escola del Treball Institute, C/ del Comte d'Urgell, 187, building 11, 08036 Barcelona, Spain
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Marine Science, 2023, Vol. 13, No. 4   doi: 10.5376/ijms.2023.13.0004
Received: 07 Oct., 2023    Accepted: 01 Nov., 2023    Published: 27 Nov., 2023
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This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Condal F., and Pellicer I., 2023, Microplastic pollution in the coast of Tarragona, Spain: a western mediterranean study, International Journal of Marine Science, 13(4): 1-8 (doi: 10.5376/ijms.2023.13.0004)


The Institut Rambla Prim, in collaboration with the Institut-Escola del Treball of Barcelona, conducted a study on marine microplastics present in the seawater along the coast of Tarragona (Balearic Sea, Western Mediterranean), specifically in the towns of l'Ampolla and Altafulla, as well as in the sand of Altafulla beach. The study involved collecting water samples using the passive filtering prototype SB-Buoy, analyzing them in the laboratory, and manually sieving the beach sand, as a citizen science project conducted by students and teachers from professional degrees. The concentrations observed varied considerably depending on the sampling locations and periods. Significant preliminary results should be highlighted: tiny microplastics dominate the samples from seawater (Ø < 3 mm), and plastic pellets in the sand accounted for 52% of the anthropogenic waste by weight in the sampling area.

Marine microplastics; SB-Buoy; Plastic pellets; Waste; Coastal ecosystems; Citizen science
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