Preprint Concept Paper Version 2 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Macroplastic Storage and Remobilization in Rivers

Version 1 : Received: 8 July 2020 / Approved: 9 July 2020 / Online: 9 July 2020 (06:19:38 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 13 July 2020 / Approved: 15 July 2020 / Online: 15 July 2020 (02:59:51 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Liro, M.; Emmerik, T.; Wyżga, B.; Liro, J.; Mikuś, P. Macroplastic Storage and Remobilization in Rivers. Water 2020, 12, 2055. Liro, M.; Emmerik, T.; Wyżga, B.; Liro, J.; Mikuś, P. Macroplastic Storage and Remobilization in Rivers. Water 2020, 12, 2055.


The paper presents a conceptual model of the route of macroplastic debris (5 > mm) through a fluvial system, which can support future works on the overlooked processes of macroplastic storage and remobilization in rivers. We divided the macroplastic route into (1) input, (2) transport, (3) storage, (4) remobilization and (5) output phases. Phase 1 is mainly controlled by humans, phases 2–4 by fluvial processes, and phase 5 by both types of controls. We hypothesize that natural characteristics of fluvial systems and their modification by dam reservoirs and flood embankments construction are key controls on macroplastic storage and remobilization in rivers. The zone of macroplastic storage can be defined as a river floodplain inundated since the beginning of widespread disposal of plastic waste to the environment in the 1960s and remobilization zone as a part of the storage zone influenced by floodwaters and bank erosion. The amount of macroplastic in both zones can be estimated using data on the abundance of surface- and subsurface-stored macroplastic and the lateral and vertical extent of the zones. Our model creates the framework for estimation of how much plastic has accumulated in rivers and will be present in future riverscapes.


macroplastic; macroplastic storage; macroplastic remobilization; plastic debris; Anthropocene; human impact; riverine plastic


Environmental and Earth Sciences, Environmental Science

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 15 July 2020
Commenter: Maciej Liro
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: Manuscript text and figure 2 were corrected during revision.
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