Global data set on micro- and mesoplastic loads in marine sediments
We provide two files, an excel file named: "Global data set on micro- and mesoplastic loads in marine sediments" and a PDF file named "Metadata-Dataset". The excel file provides the dataset and the list of references from which the data were extracted or derived. The PDF file provides a detailed description of the dataset and of the methods used to extract and derive data.
Steps to reproduce
We searched for original studies reporting on plastic abundance in marine sediments in two of the main scientific search engines, Web of Science and Google Scholar. We screened the high throughput of literature obtained from the search in order to include only trustable (i.e., peer-reviewed) and relevant studies (i.e., effectively tackling plastics in marine sediments). From the studies kept after screening, we extracted data on plastic abundance, on sampling, on sample processing methodologies, on sample characteristics and on particle features. We compiled a dataset of 1,649 records of plastic abundance in sediments extracted from 119 original studies. To homogenize data, we converted all the abundance values to the same unit (number of items per kg of sediment and number of items per cm3) and we corrected the values based on the lower size detection limit, different across studies, and on the recovery rate of the method use to extract plastics from sediments. Lastly, we separated the abundance of fibers from the abundance of all the other item types, named non-fibrous items, due to the uncertainty around the confirmation of the plastic nature of fibers and the high risk of contamination of the sample from airborne fibers during sample processing. Please, see details in the file "Metadata-Dataset"