Assessing the Occurrence and Distribution of Microplastics in Surface Freshwater and Wastewaters of Latvia and Lithuania

Reza Pashaei*, Viktorija Sabaliauskaite, Sergej Suzdalev, Arunas Balciunas, Ieva Putna-Nimane, RM Rees, Reda Dzingeleviciene

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)
    30 Downloads (Pure)


    Microplastic concentrations in surface water and wastewater collected from Daugavpils and Liepaja cities in Latvia, as well as Klaipeda and Siauliai cities in Lithuania, were measured in July and De-cember 2021. Using optical microscopy, polymer composition was characterized using micro-Raman spectroscopy. The average abundance of microplastics in surface water and wastewater samples was 16.63 ± 20.29 particles/L. The dominant shape group of microplastics in water was fiber, with dominant colors found to be blue (61%), black (36%), and red (3%) in Latvia. Similar distribution in Lithuania was found, i.e., fiber (95%) and fragments (5%) with dominant colors, such as blue (53%), black (30%), red (9%), yellow (5%), and transparent (3%). The micro-Raman spectroscopy spectra of visible microplastics were identified to be polyethylene terephthalate (33%) and polyvinyl chloride (33%), nylon (12%), polyester (PS) (11%), and high-density polyethylene (11%). In the study area, municipal and hospital wastewater from catchment areas were the main reasons for the contami-nation of microplastics in the surface water and wastewater of Latvia and Lithuania. It is possible to reduce pollution loads by implementing measures such as raising awareness, installing more high-tech wastewater treatment plants, and reducing plastic use.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number292
    Number of pages12
    Issue number4
    Early online date23 Mar 2023
    Publication statusFirst published - 23 Mar 2023


    • microplastics
    • Water pollutants
    • Wastewater
    • surface water
    • wastewaters
    • occurrence
    • distribution


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