Status of Microplastic Accumulation in Water and Sediments of Selected Estuarine Ecosystem of Southern Kerala, India

V. S. Priji *

Department of Studies in Zoology, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu-608002, India.

R. Karuppasamy

Department of Zoology, Annamalai University, Tamil Nadu-608002, India.

G. Prasad

Department of Zoology, University of Kerala, Thiruvananthapuram-695581, Kerala, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Some research assesses the spatial and temporal variations in microplastic pollution in specific ecosystems, such as the estuarine regions of Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, taking into account its potential effects on the aquatic ecosystem and the lack of information on the abundances of microplastic in estuarine water and sediments. The estuarine environment has raised growing apprehensions over plastic waste smaller than 5 mm in diameter locally and globally. Microplastic pollution in water and sediments of Southern Kerala was monitored at regular intervals from February 2020 through January 2022. During the course of two years, seasonal samples of water and sediment were taken at 16 locations. Microplastics were sorted and labelled based on their material make-up, size, colour, and kind. Polypropylene (PP), polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS), and other polymers were found to make up the majority of the microplastics studied. Secondary microplastics with a length of less than 1 mm predominated in both the water and the sediment. Microplastics were more often seen in white, and analysis of the chemical makeup of the particles found in all of the samples revealed a predominance of polyamide.  This study aims to conduct a thorough evaluation of microplastic pollution, including its origins and potential risks, in two environmental mediums such as estuarine water and sediments.

Keywords: Polyethylene, fibre, sieve analysis, physicochemical parameter, FTIR

How to Cite

Priji , V. S., Karuppasamy , R., & Prasad , G. (2023). Status of Microplastic Accumulation in Water and Sediments of Selected Estuarine Ecosystem of Southern Kerala, India. UTTAR PRADESH JOURNAL OF ZOOLOGY, 44(14), 6–16.


Download data is not yet available.


Ballent A, Corcoran PL, Madden O, Helm PA, Longstaffe FJ. Sources and sinks of microplastics in Canadian Lake Ontario near shore, tributary, and beach sediment. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2016;110:383–395.

Jayasiri HB, Purushothaman CS, Vennila A. Quantitative analysis of plastic debris on recreational beaches Mumbai. India. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2013;77:107-112.

Geyer R, Jambeck JR, Law KL. Production, use, and the fate of all plastics ever made. Science Advances. 2017;3(7):1700782

Brennecke D, Duarte B, Paiva F, Caçador I, Canning-Clode J. Microplastic vectors for heavy metal contamination from the marine environment. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 2016;178:189–195.

Veerasingam S, Mugilarasan M, Venkatachalapathy R, Vethamony P. Influence of the 2015 flood on the distribution and occurrence of microplastic pellets along the Chennai coast. India. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2016;109(1):196-204.

Karthik, R, Robin R.S, Purvaja R, Ganguly D, Anandavelu I, Raghuraman, R, Hariharan G, Ramakrishna A, Ramesh R.Microplastics along the beaches of the southeast coast of India. Science of the Total Environment.2018;645:1388–1399.

Krishnakumar S, Srinivasalu S, Saravanan P, Vidyasagar A, Magesh NS. A preliminary study on coastal debris in Nallathanni Island, Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, Southeast coast of India. Marine. Pollution Bulletin. 2018;131:547–551

Naidu SA. Preliminary study and the first evidence of microplastics and colorants in green mussel, Pernaviridis (Linnaeus, 1758), from the southeast coast of India. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2019;140:416–422.

Sreekanth A, Mrudulrag SK, Cheriyan E, Sujatha CH. Trace metal enrichment and organic matters occurs in the surface sediments of the Arabian Sea along south west India (Kerala coast). Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2015;101(2):938–946

Young AM, Elliott JA. Characterization of microplastic and mesoplastic debris in sediments from Kamilo Beach and Kahuku Beach, Hawaii. Marine Pollution.Bulletin. 2016;113(1–2):477–482.

Gewert B, Ogonowski M, Barth A, MacLeod M. Abundance and composition of near-surface microplastics and plastic debris in the Stockholm archipelago, Baltic Sea. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2017;120:292–302.

Turner A, Lau KS. Elemental concentrations and bio accessibilities in beach plastic foam litter, particularly lead in polyurethane. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2016;112(1-2):265-270.

Browne MA, Crump P, Niven SJ, Teuten E, Tonkin A, Galloway T, Thompson, R. Accumulation of microplastic on shorelines worldwide: sources and sinks. Environmental Science and Technology. 2011;45:9175–9179.

Bakir A, Marieke D, Tim W, Nanne VH. Occurrence and abundance of meso and microplastics in sediment, surface waters, and marine biota from the South Pacific region. Marine Pollution Bulletin. 2020;160:111572.

Zara LR, Botterell, Nicola Beaumont, Tarquin Dorrington, Michael Steinke, Richard C. Thompson, Penelope K. Lindeque. Bioavailability and effects of microplastics on marine zooplankton: Â review. Environmental Pollution. 2019;245:98-110.

Isobe A, Uchiyama-Matsumoto K, Uchida K, Tokai T. Microplastics in the southern ocean. Marine Pollution. Bulletin. 2017;114(1):623–626.

Zhang K, Xiong X, Hu, H, Wu C, Bi Y, Wu Y, Zhou B, Lam PKS, Liu J. Occurrence and characteristics of microplastic pollution in Xiangxi Bay of three gorges reservoir, China. Environmental Science &.Technologies. 2017a;51:3794–3801.

Turhan DÖ. Evaluation of microplastics in the surface water, sediment and fish of Sürgü Dam Reservoir (Malatya) in Turkey. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 2022;22(SI):TRJFAS20157.

Zhang W, Zhang S, Wang J, Wang Y, Mu J, Wang P, Lin X, Ma D. Microplastic pollution in the surface waters of the Bohai Sea, China. Environmental Pollution. 2017b;231:541–548.

Baini M, Fossi MC, Galli M, Caliani I, Campani T, Finoia MG, Panti C. Abundance and characterization of microplastics in the coastal waters of Tuscany (Italy): The application of the MSFD monitoring protocol in the Mediterranean Sea. Marine Pollution.Bulletin.2018;133:543–552.

Lisbeth Van Cauwenberghe, Lisa Devriese, Galgani, Johan Robbens, Colin R. Janssen. Microplastics in sediments: A review of techniques, occurrence and effects. Marine Environmental Research. 2015;111:5-17.

Sruthy S, Ramasamy EV. Microplastic pollution in Vembanad Lake, Kerala, India: The first report of microplastics in lake and estuarine sediments in India. Environmental Pollution. 2017;222:315-322.

Plastics Europe. Plastics – the Facts 2017, An Analysis of European Plastics Production, Demand, and Waste Data.16 (Brussels-Belgium); 2018.