Solid waste composition and COVID-19-induced changes in an inland water ecosystem in Turkey

Özşeker K., Terzi Y., Erüz C.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLLUTION RESEARCH, vol.334, pp.1-10, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 334
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s11356-022-19750-6
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, IBZ Online, ABI/INFORM, Aerospace Database, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, Aqualine, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Geobase, MEDLINE, Pollution Abstracts, Veterinary Science Database, Civil Engineering Abstracts
  • Page Numbers: pp.1-10
  • Keywords: Pollution, Litter, Plastic, Face mask, Single use, Tourism, Lake, River, EASTERN BLACK-SEA, MARINE LITTER, PLASTICS
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The composition and abundance of solid waste and the effect of COVID-19 measures were studied in an inland water ecosystem in Turkey. Solid waste items were collected annually for 5 years from 2017 to 2021 from seven stations located in Borçka Dam Lake (B1–B4) and Murgul Stream (M1–M3) in the Artvin Province. The highest densities by number and weight were recorded at M3 in 2020 (5.72 items/m2) and M1 in 2020 (0.39 kg/m2), respectively. However, no significant difference in density was recorded (p < 0.05) between the years. Plastic was the most abundant waste material by number of items in all the stations with a percentage contribution varying between 25.47 and 88.89%. There was a considerable increase in medical items during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–2021. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) and ANOSIM results revealed visually and statistically significant differences in solid waste composition between the years and stations. The dissimilarity between the years was driven by plastic and medical waste. The main sources of solid waste were river transportation (22.93%), improper disposal (20.74%), aquaculture activities (16.42%), and recreational and tourism activities (14.72%). The results of our study can be a baseline for transportation models, local administrations, and non-governmental organizations. Besides, the current waste management measures in Turkey are not effective in preventing waste accumulation in inland aquatic systems such as the Borçka Dam Lake and Murgul Stream. Furthermore, these findings indicate that the COVID-19 pandemic influenced solid waste composition and increased its abundance in the study area.