Poyang Lake, Xinjiang Province, is China’s biggest freshwater lake measuring 3500 km2. It provides a habitat for half a million migratory birds. A study investigating the microplastic pollution in water, sediment, and fish samples of Poyang Lake and supported by CAS found that microplastics are abundant and ubiquitous in the lake. The majority of the detected microplastics were found with a size of <0.5 mm, with fibrous and colored being the predominant characteristics. Polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) were the major polymer types. Fishing activities and domestic sewage can be the major contributors of the microplastic abundance in Poyang Lake. In addition to human activities, the distribution pattern of microplastic contamination of Poyang Lake may be also affected by hydrodynamic and topographic conditions.
CAS news release, March 1, 2019