This study is intended to examine the quality and quantity of floating plastic debris in the River Seine through use of an extensive regional network of floating debris-retention booms; it is one of the first attempts to provide reliable information on such debris at a large regional scale. Plastic debris represented between 0.8% and 5.1% of total debris collected by weight. A significant proportion consisted of food wrappers/containers and plastic cutlery, probably originating from voluntary or involuntary dumping, urban discharges and surface runoff. Most plastic items are made of polypropylene, polyethylene and, to a lesser extent, polyethylene terephthalate. By extrapolation, some 27 tons of floating plastic debris are intercepted annually by this network; corresponding to 2.3 g per Parisian inhabitant per year. Such data could serve to provide a first evaluation of floating plastic inputs conveyed by rivers.
Keywords: Floating plastic litter; Plastic loads; River; Riverine litter.
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