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An analysis of the riverine contribution to the solid wastes contamination of an isolated beach at the Brazilian Northeast

Maria Christina Araújo (Laboratory of Ecology and Management of Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems, Oceanography Department, Federal University of Pernambuco, Pernambuco, Brazil)
Monica Costa (Laboratory of Ecology and Management of Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems, Oceanography Department, Federal University of Pernambuco, Pernambuco, Brazil)

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 9 January 2007

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the origin of the solid wastes contamination for an isolated beach (Várzea do Una), through the classification of the plastics fraction into specific use‐related categories along a full seasonal cycle. Design/methodology/approach – The assessment was made through the sampling of a transect along a full hydrological year, delimited at an isolated tropical beach under the direct influence of a river. The registered items were then classed according to their most probable sources, with emphasis to plastics of riverine origin. Findings – Results indicated an exceptionally high level of contamination of the beach by plastics of urban origin. The main items found were related to household activities. Hospital wastes were also present, highlighting the riverine contribution to the solid wastes contamination of the beach. Practical implications – The work reports the gravity of the situation in the urban centers of this river basin concerning basic sanitation. It compels the local administrations to act in order to abate the solid wastes collection and final destination. Originality/value – In Brazil, as well as in other tropical/developing countries, there is a lack of scientific reports on the theme. However, they are in great need, since the local, State and Federal administrations' disregard the basic sanitation problem of small and/or isolated coastal communities. The solid wastes generated by these populations easily reach the coastal and marine environments with a number of consequences, themselves also unassessed.

Keywords

Citation

Christina Araújo, M. and Costa, M. (2007), "An analysis of the riverine contribution to the solid wastes contamination of an isolated beach at the Brazilian Northeast", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 18 No. 1, pp. 6-12. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830710717677

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited