Scientist: This is the condition of Wonorejo River Estuary and the accumulation of plastic waste

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Illustration by Feri Fenoria

UNAIR NEWS – Marine ecosystems have major pollution problem from plastic waste. It is categorized as a persistent marine pollutant that can last for more than 100 years in the environment. Small plastic particles are very dangerous for living organisms as evidenced by previous studies that showed small plastic particles are found in living organisms, especially marine biota.

To prevent severe marine pollution, estuaries and coastline areas are often cleaned manually from plastic with a cleaning process and schedules carried out without considering the effects of seasonal variations. Therefore, Muhammad Fauzul Imron ST, MT and his team conducted research to analyze the effect of seasonal variations in Indonesia on the accumulation of plastic waste at Wonorejo River estuary in Surabaya.

“The results provided information related to fluctuations in plastic accumulation during the dry and rainy seasons. Furthermore, the results can also be used for further consideration by the local government in choosing the right time to clean plastic in the estuary, “explained the lecturer of Faculty of Science and Technology (FST).

Samples in the dry and rainy seasons, he continued, were collected from August to September 2018 and from December 2018 to January 2019. Wonorejo estuary is categorized as a diurnal tidal area. All samples were collected during the Madura Strait tide around 11:00 to 14:00, when the intertidal area was covered with sea water.

The results showed that the VPD (Visible Plastic Debris) collected from the sampling point was known to be significantly higher during the rainy season than in the dry season. VPDs are collected during high tide levels because a lot of plastic debris and other floating material is carried by high tidal waves.

“The manual VPD cleaning process in the estuary is recommended during the rainy season to get high efficiency in cleaning results. Cleaning the estuary or along river course is not recommended because of the movement of floating masses (including plastic debris) which makes VPD collection difficult and less efficient, “he concluded.

Author: Dian Putri Apriliani

Editor: Nuri Hermawan

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