DOI: 10.14466/CefasDataHub.66

CLiP Vanuatu Microplastics in sediment 2017


This dataset contains 2 csv files. One file contains data on microplastic abundance expressed in number of particles per 5g dried sediment from 14 grabs collected on Efate Island (Vanuatu) in 2017. One file contains spectrum analysis for some of the particles carried out with a ATR-FTIR. A READ-ME text file contains description of columns content for these two csv files. There is a .zip file that includes a csv file with the description of the plastic particles larger than 5mm (macroplastic) found in the samples and their pictures. Microplastics are plastic particles with size less than 5 mm in diameter (Arthur et al., 2008). The Commonwealth Litter Project (CLiP) supported Solomon Islands to take action on plastics entering the oceans. The assessment of microplastics in seawater was part of the action plan to define scientific baselines for future monitoring purposes and comparison. Samples were dried for 3 days (<50 degrees centigrade) and weighted. Density separation using NaCl solution and a centrifuge, filtering the supernatant. This was followed by a chemical digestion with a KOH:NaClO solution for 3 days at 50 degrees centigrade whilst shaking. Plastic particles were then stained with Nile Red dye and a digital image was acquired through a microscope. Microplastic particles were then counted and a subsample of particles (between 1 and 10%) was processed through a ATR—FTIR to identify particle composition comparing their spectrum to a polymers library. The presence and number of particles of plastic >5mm was also noted for each sample.


Maes, Thomas / Smith, Andy / Bakir, Adil / Doran, Denise / Desender, Marieke / Leigh Smyth, Maddie / Lukaszewicz, Sonja / Trnski, Lena / Vanuatu Bureau of Standards


Marine litter / Litter abundance and type / Sediment

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Maes and Smith (2019). CLiP Vanuatu Microplastics in sediment 2017. Cefas, UK. V1. doi:



Data Links

Data to be made available following publication of scientific article