14 Global Garbage Newsletter 16 August 2017

14 Global Garbage Newsletter 16 August 2017


Lisa I. Devriese, Bavo De Witte, A. Dick Vethaak, Kris Hostens, Heather A. Leslie,
Bioaccumulation of
PCBs from microplastics in Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus): An experimental study,
Chemosphere, Volume 186, 2017, Pages 10-16, ISSN 0045-6535,

Abstract: Plastic debris acts as a sorbent phase for hydrophobic organic compounds like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Chemical partitioning models predict that the ingestion of microplastics with adsorbed chemicals in the field will tend not to result in significant net desorption of the chemical to the organism's tissues. This is expected due to the often limited differences in fugacity of the chemical between the indigestible plastic materials and the tissues, which are typically already exposed in the same environment to the same chemicals as the plastic. However laboratory trials validating these model predictions are scarce. In this study, PCB-loaded microplastics were offered to field-collected Norway lobsters (Nephrops norvegicus) during in vivo feeding laboratory experiments. Each ingestion experiment was repeated with and without loading a mixture of ten PCB congeners onto plastic microspheres (MS) made of polyethylene (PE) and polystyrene (PS) with diameters of either 500–600 μm or 6 μm. We observed that the presence of chemicals adsorbed to ingested microplastics did not lead to significant bioaccumulation of the chemicals in the exposed organisms. There was a limited uptake of PCBs in Nephrops tail tissue after ingestion of PCB-loaded PE MS, while almost no PCBs were detected in animals exposed to PS MS. In general, our results demonstrated that after 3 weeks of exposure the ingestion of plastic MS themselves did not affect the nutritional state of wild Nephrops.

Hongfei Liu, Xiaomei Yang, Guobin Liu, Chutao Liang, Sha Xue, Hao Chen, Coen J. Ritsema, Violette
Response of soil dissolved organic matter to microplastic addition in Chinese loess soil,
Chemosphere, Volume 185, 2017, Pages 907-917, ISSN 0045-6535,

Abstract: Plastic debris is accumulating in agricultural land due to the increased use of plastic mulches, which is causing serious environmental problems, especially for biochemical and physical properties of the soil. Dissolved organic matter (DOM) plays a central role in driving soil biogeochemistry, but little information is available on the effects of plastic residues, especially microplastic, on soil DOM. We conducted a soil-incubation experiment in a climate-controlled chamber with three levels of microplastic added to loess soil collected from the Loess Plateau in China: 0% (control, CK), 7% (M1) and 28% (M2) (w/w). We analysed the soil contents of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), dissolved organic nitrogen (DON), NH4+, NO3−, dissolved organic phosphorus (DOP), and PO43− and the activities of fluorescein diacetate hydrolase (FDAse) and phenol oxidase. The higher level of microplastic addition significantly increased the nutrient contents of the DOM solution. The lower level of addition had no significant effect on the DOM solution during the first seven days, but the rate of DOM decomposition decreased in M1 between days 7 and 30, which increased the nutrient contents. The microplastic facilitated the accumulation of high-molecular-weight humic-like material between days 7 and 30. The DOM solutions were mainly comprised of high-molecular-weight humic-like material in CK and M1 and of high-molecular-weight humic-like material and tyrosine-like material in M2. The Microplastic stimulated the activities of both enzymes. Microplastic addition thus stimulated enzymatic activity, activated pools of organic C, N, and P, and was beneficial for the accumulation of dissolved organic C, N and P.

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