(Micro)plastics: A possible criterion for beach certification with a focus on the Blue Flag Award

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Sci Total Environ. 2021 Sep 1;803:150051. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150051. Online ahead of print.


On the one hand, environmental certifications like the Blue Flag award (BFA) are well-known globally for its role in beach management and tourism attraction. Plastic pollution like microplastics, on the other hand, has become a global concern due to their increasing persistence and negative environmental repercussions. This paper examines and discusses the factors that would lead to (micro)plastics being included to the BFA as a criterion. Thereby, we attempt to maximize BFA’s potential as a tool for better understanding (micro)plastics on beaches and implementing strategies to reduce them. The anticipated primary benefits are: 1) knowing the degree of litter disposal and microplastic contamination, 2) conducting close monitoring, 3) having an accessible database for numerous coastlines throughout the world, 4) evaluating management strategies and making improvements, 5) assisting in long-term research, 6) having a responsible entity in charge of issue decision-making, and 7) a larger public/scientific outreach.

PMID:34525691 | DOI:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2021.150051