Ocean Science Journal

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 151–162 | Cite as

Sources of plastic marine debris on beaches of Korea: More from the ocean than the land

  • Yong Chang Jang
  • Jongmyoung LeeEmail author
  • Sunwook Hong
  • Jong Su Lee
  • Won Joon Shim
  • Young Kyoung Song


Reduction of marine debris requires knowledge of its sources. Sources of plastic marine debris found on six beaches of Korea were estimated. Samples larger than 25 mm were collected from 10 quadrats of 5 × 5 m for each beach in spring 2013. The total 752 items (12,255 g) of debris comprised fiber and fabric (415 items, 6,909 g), hard plastic (120 items, 4,316 g), styrofoam (93 items, 306 g), film (83 items, 464 g), foamed plastic other than styrofoam (21 items, 56 g), and other polymer (20 items, 204 g). With the probable sources allocated to each of 55 debris types, the source of 56% of all the collected debris appeared to be oceanbased and 44% was land-based. Priorities of policy measures to reduce marine debris should be different from regions to regions as the main sources of debris may differ.

Key words

marine debris source beach plastic survey protocol pollution 


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Copyright information

© Korea Ocean Research & Development Institute (KORDI) and the Korean Society of Oceanography (KSO) and Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yong Chang Jang
    • 1
  • Jongmyoung Lee
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sunwook Hong
    • 1
  • Jong Su Lee
    • 1
  • Won Joon Shim
    • 2
    • 3
  • Young Kyoung Song
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Korea Marine Litter InstituteOur Sea of East Asia NetworkTongyeongKorea
  2. 2.Oil & POPs Research Group, South Sea Research InstituteKIOSTGeojeKorea
  3. 3.Department of Marine Environmental Chemistry and BiologyKorea University of Science & TechnologyDaejeonKorea

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