Comparing the abundance of microplastics in the wedge shell, Donax semigranosus from Ta Kuan and Leam Mea Phim beaches, Rayong Province


  • Dr. Wichin Suebpala
  • Thamasak Yeemin
  • Makamas Sutthacheep
  • Duangkamon Sangiamdee
  • Supphakarn Phaoduang
  • Laddawan Sangsawang
  • Ploypailin Rangseethampanya
  • Arirush Wongnutpranont


debris, Donax, Gulf of Thailand, microplastics, sandy beach


Microplastics, are the most abundant plastic debris items in the marine and coastal ecosystems. Abundance of microplastics in marine environment increase due to degradation of large plastic items. Therefore, microplastics are considered emerging pollutants to be recognized as a new threat to marine ecosystems. Marine bivalves are of particular interest as they are filter-feeders and can directly ingest microplastics from the water column, in the Gulf of Thailand. The wedge shell, Donax semigranosus is an abundant macro-invertebrate found on sandy beaches. This study aimed to compare the abundance of microplastics in the wedge shell, D. semigranosus form Ta Kuan and Leam Mea Phim beaches, Rayong Province between 1999 and 2014. The shell samples were collected and preserved in 10% buffered formalin. The abundance of microplastics in the shells was examined by hydrogen peroxide and floatation- filtration with saline (NaCl) solution treatments. The highest abundance of microplastics was found 14.3±7.3 particles/individual at Ta Kuan in 2014. Moreover, the abundance of microplastics in the shells at Ta Kuan beach was much higher than Leam Mea Phim beach in both years. The highest proportion of microplastic sizes at Ta Kuan was ranged from 100 to 500 µm in 2014, while the largest proportion of microplastic sizes at Leam Mea Phim was ranged from 1001 to 2000 µm. FTIR analyses were present four types of microplastic i.e, Poly(ethylene terephthalate), Polypropylene, Rayon, Polyethylene, Poly(vinyl alcohol). Our results imply that the commercial bivalves from the Gulf of Thailand may contain microplastics. It is urgently needed to investigate microplastic pollution in various marine organisms in the Gulf of Thailand.


Andrady AL (2015) Persistence of Plastic Litter in the Oceans. In; Bergmann M, Gutow L, Klages M (eds) Marine Anthropogenic Litter. Springer, New York, pp 57–72
Andrady AL (2017) The plastic in microplastics: A review. Marine Pollution Bulletin 119 (1): 12–22
Avio CG, Gorbi S, Regoli F (2016) Plastics and microplastics in the oceans: From emerging pollutants to emerged threat. Marine Environmental Research 128: 2–11
Claessens M, DeMeester S, Van Landuyt L, De Clerck K, Janssen CR (2011) Occurrence and distribution of microplastics in marine sediments along the Belgian coast. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 62(10):2199–2204
Cooper DA, Corcoran PL (2010) Effects of chemical and mechanical processes on the degradation of plastic beach debris on the island of Kauai, Hawaii Marine Pollution Bulletin 60: 650–654
Corcoran PL, Biesinger MC, Grifi M (2009) Plastics and beaches: a degrading relationship. Marine Pollution Bulletin 58: 80–84
Frias JPGL, Sobral P, Ferreira AM (2010) Organic pollutants in microplastics from two beaches of the Portuguese coast. Marine Pollution Bulletin 60: 1988−1992
GESAMP (2015) “Sources, fate and effects of microplastics in the marine environment: a global assessment” in: Kershaw PJ (eds)). (IMO/FAO/UNESCO-IOC/UNIDO/WMO/IAEA/UN/UNEP/UNDP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection). Rep. Stud. GESAMP No. 90, 96
Gewert, B, Plassmann MM, MacLeod M (2015) Pathways for degradation of plastic polymers floating in the marine environment. Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts 17(9): 1513–1521
Gong J, Kong T, Li Y, Li Q, Li Z, Zhang J (2018) Biodegradation of microplastic derived from poly (ethylene terephthalate) with bacterial whole-cell biocatalysts. Polymer 10(12):1326
Jadsri S, Singhasivanon P, Kaewkungwal J, Sithiprasasna R, Siriruttanapruk S, Konchom S (2006) Spatio-temporal effects of estimated pollutants released from an industrial estate on the occurrence of respiratory disease in Map Ta Phut Municipality, Thailand. International Journal of Health Geographics 5:48
Langkulsen U, Vichit-Vadakan N, Taptagaporn S (2011) Safety and health in the petrochemical industry in Map Ta Phut, Thailand. Journal of Occupational Health 53: 384–392
Li J, Qu X, Su L, Zhang W, Yang D, Kolandhasamy P, Li D, Shi H (2016) Microplastics in mussels along the coastal waters of China. Environmental Pollution 214: 177–184
Li J, Yang D, Li L, Jabeen K, Shi H (2015) Microplastics in commercial bivalves from China. Environmental Pollution 207: 190–195
Lusher AL, Hollman PCH, Mendoza-Hill JJ (2017) Microplastics in fisheries and aquaculture: Status of knowledge on their occurrence and implications for aquatic organisms and food safety. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper 615, FAO, Rome
Mathalon A, Hill P (2014) Microplastic fibers in the intertidal ecosystem surrounding Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia. Marine Pollution Bulletin 81: 69–79
Naji A, Nuri M, Vethaak AD (2018) Microplastics contamination in molluscs from the northern part of the Persian Gulf. Environmental Pollution 235: 113–120
Ngamprasertkit S (2018) Thailand: Seafood Report. United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service, Bangkok
Park CH, Kang YK, Im SS (2004) Biodegradability of cellulose fabrics. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 94 (1):248–253
Qiu Q, Peng J, Yu X, Chen F, Wang J, Dong F (2015) Occurrence of microplastics in the coastal marine environment: first observation on sediment of China. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 98 (1–2): 274–280
Rangkadilok N, Siripriwon P, Nookabkaew S, Suriyo T, Satayaviva J (2014) Arsenic, cadmium, and manganese Levels in shellfish from Map Ta Phut, an industrial area in Thailand, and the potential toxic effects on human cells. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 68: 169–180
Sanpanich K (2011) Marine bivalves occurring on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand. ScienceAsia 37: 195–204
Smith M, Love DC, Rochman CM, Neff RA (2018) Microplastics in Seafood and the Implications for Human Health. Current Environmental Health Reports 5: 375–386
Song YK, Hong SH, Jang M, Han GM, Jung SW, Shim WJ (2017) Combined Effects of UV Exposure Duration and Mechanical Abrasion on Microplastic Fragmentation by Polymer Type. Environmental Science and Technology 51(8): 4368–4376
Takada Y, Kajihara N, Iseki T, Yagi Y, Abe S (2016) Zonation of macrofaunal assemblages on microtidal sandy beaches along the Japan Sea coast of Honshu. Plankton Benthos Research 11: 17–28
Thompson RC (2015) Microplastics in the Marine Environment: Sources, Consequences and Solutions. In: Bergmann M., Gutow L., Klages M. (eds) Marine Anthropogenic Litter. Springer, Cham
Thusharia GGN, Senevirathna JDM, Yakupitiyage A, Chavanich S (2017) Effects of microplastics on sessile invertebrates in the eastern coast of Thailand: An approach to coastal zone conservation. Marine Pollution Bulletin 124: 349–355
UNEP (2016). Marine plastic debris and microplastics – Global lessons and research to inspire action and guide policy change. United Nations Environment Programme, Nairobi.
Van Cauwenberghe L, Janssen CR (2014) Microplastics in bivalves cultured for human consumption. Environmental Pollution 193: 65–70






Original Articles