Microplastics pollution in Vietnam has received significant attention in recent years because of its adverse effects on the environment. This study examined the abundance, physical characteristics, and chemical composition of microplastics in beach sand from the Can Gio Coast, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam for the first time. Five beaches with different features and anthropogenic activities along the Can Gio Coast were selected. Ninety sand samples were collected from the edge of the water to the upper shoreline at different depths to assess the spatial distribution of microplastics. Microplastics were extracted by density separation in a solution of sodium chloride (NaCl) and zinc chloride (ZnCl2
) and examined by attenuated total reflection Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR-ATR). The abundance of microplastics varied from 0 to 6.58 pieces/kg d.w. Microplastics were detected mostly along the upper shoreline and in the surface sand layer. The dimension of the microplastics ranged from 2.8 to 5 mm (71.4%), granules accounted for the highest proportion of shape (42.9%), and white and blue were the two most prevalent colors (81%). Polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyethylene were the three most common polymer types. The characteristics of microplastics indicate that their origin may be from resin pellets, tourism activities, and aquacultural activities.
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