Macroplastic accumulation in roadside ditches of the Finger Lakes region dataset

Published: 1 September 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/sxfdf37wp4.1
Olivia Pietz,
, Christine Georgakakos, Kanishka Singh,


This dataset documents individual macroplastics found in roadside ditches in Tompkins County, New York. Analysis has been completed on accumulation rates by piece and mass of macroplastics across land uses, COVID-19 conditions, and traffic gradients for the sampling sites (Pietz et al., 2021). Plastic type analysis (according to RIC classification) was also conducted across land uses and COVID-19 conditions. Twelve ditches were sampled, three each in agricultural, commercial, forested, and commercial land uses. On a piece basis, we found significant reductions in ditch macroplastic accumulation during COVID-19 as compared withe pre-COVID-19 samples. Commercial sites accumulated the most macroplastics, and were also characterized by highest traffic rates. Type 4 plastics (e.g. bags, wrappers, thin films) were the most prevalent macroplastics found across all land uses. Sampling round 0 indicates data of initial clearing of all ditches to establish a zero litter baseline from which to calculate accumulations.


Steps to reproduce

Data were collected every 2-3 weeks. Plastic accumulations calculated since previous sampling date. RIC system was used to categorized plastic type visually. Statistical analysis completed in R-studio. See Data in Brief Article for specific protocols.


Cornell University


Applied Sciences, Natural Sciences