Microplastics Determination in the Rivers with Different Urbanisation Variances: A Case Study in Kuching City, Sarawak, Malaysia

Georgina Johnson, Wen San Hii, Samuel Lihan, Meng Guan Tay
2020 Borneo Journal of Resource Science and Technology  
The presence of microplastics in aquatic systems is mainly due to the anthropogenic activities such as domestic waste dumping. Undeniably, rivers either in urban or suburban areas are always a waste dumpling sites from the surrounding residences. Thus, the purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between microplastic abundance and different degree of urbanization across Kuching in Sarawak. Three sampling locations with different degrees of urbanisation had been studied across
more » ... ing. A total of 137 pieces of microplastics were collected along the study and analysed using stereoscopic microscope for the shape identification and FTIR spectrophotometer for functional groups present in the microplastics. Filament was the most abundant microplastics shape found, whereas the IR results showed that ethylenevinylacetate (9%), polyamides or nylon (15%), polypropylene (42%), poly(methylmethacrylate) (16%) and polystyrene (18%) were found in the study. The most abundant microplastics in the water samples was polypropylene (42%), whereas ethylenevinylacetate (9%) was the least. The degree of urbanisation does not directly relate to the microplastic present in the river system in Kuching City, but the anthropogenic activity is the main factor that affecting the microplastic abundance in the river. Keywords: anthropologenic activity, FTIR, microplastics, polymer identification, urban, sub-urban
doi:10.33736/bjrst.2475.2020 fatcat:ybnxolre2fd2thhjmvedbeaqdy