Articles | Volume 18, issue 1
Review article
04 Jan 2022
Review article |  | 04 Jan 2022

Plastics in the Indian Ocean – sources, transport, distribution, and impacts

Charitha Pattiaratchi, Mirjam van der Mheen, Cathleen Schlundt, Bhavani E. Narayanaswamy, Appalanaidu Sura, Sara Hajbane, Rachel White, Nimit Kumar, Michelle Fernandes, and Sarath Wijeratne

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Manuscript not accepted for further review
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Cited articles

Abayomi, O. A., Range, P., Al-Ghouti, M. A., Obbard, J. P., Almeer, S. H., and Ben-Hamadou, R.: Microplastics in coastal environments of the Arabian Gulf, Mar. Pollut. Bull., 124, 181–188,, 2017. 
Abbasi, S., Keshavarzi, B., Moore, F., Turner, A., Kelly, F. J., Dominguez, A. O., and Jaafarzadeh, N.: Distribution and potential health impacts of microplastics and microrubbers in air and street dusts from Asaluyeh County, Iran, Environ. Pollut., 244, 153–164,, 2019. 
Akhbarizadeh, R., Moore, F., Keshavarzi, B., and Moeinpour, A.: Microplastics and potentially toxic elements in coastal sediments of Iran's main oil terminal (Khark Island), Environ. Pollut., 220, 720–731,, 2017. 
Aliabad, M. K., Nassiri, M., and Kor, K.: Microplastics in the surface seawaters of Chabahar Bay, Gulf of Oman (Makran coasts), Mar. Pollut. Bull., 143, 125–133,, 2019. 
Andrady, A. L.: Microplastics in the marine environment, Mar. Pollut. Bull., 62, 1596–1605,, 2011. 
Short summary
The Indian Ocean receives a large proportion of plastics, but very few studies have addressed the sources, transport pathways, and sinks. There is a scarcity of observational data for the Indian Ocean. Most plastic sources are derived from rivers, although the amount derived from fishing activity (ghost nets, discarded ropes) is unknown. The unique topographic features of the Indian Ocean that create the monsoons and reversing currents have a large influence on the transport and sinks.