Microplastics leaving a trace in mangrove sediments ever since they were first manufactured: a study from Indonesia mangroves

Muhammad Reza Cordova, Yaya Ihya Ulumuddin, Ali Arman Lubis, Muhammad Taufik Kaisupy, Singgih Prasetyo Adi Wibowo, Riyana Subandi, Deny Yogaswara, Triyoni Purbonegoro, Jeverson Renyaan, Doni Nurdiansah, Untung Sugiharto, Dienda Shintianata, Sonia Saraswati Meiliastri, Faza Putri Andini, Suratno, Muhammad Ilman, Aji Wahyu Anggoro, Basir, Simon M. Cragg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mangrove environments have been well recognized as marine litter traps. However, it is unclear whether mangrove sediments sink microplastics more effectively than other marine sediments due to active sedimentation. Furthermore, microplastics archives in mangrove sediments may provide quantitative data on the impact of human activities on environmental pollution throughout history. Microplastic abundance varied markedly between high and low anthropogenic activities. Both mangrove and adjacent mudflats sediments act as microplastic sequesters, despite having similar microplastic abundances and depth profiles. The decreasing trend of microplastics was observed until the sediment layers dated to the first-time plastic was manufactured in Indonesia, in the early 1950s, but microplastics remained present beneath those layers, indicating the downward movements. This discovery highlighted the significance of mangrove sediments as microplastic sinks. More research is needed to understand the mechanisms of microplastic deposition in sediments, as well as their fate and potential impact on mangrove sediment dwellers.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115517
JournalMarine Pollution Bulletin
Early online date8 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023


  • Microplastics
  • Depth profile
  • Mangrove
  • Sediment
  • Sink
  • Indonesia
  • UKRI
  • NERC
  • NE/V009516/1

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