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Information and public services for the Island of Jersey

L'înformâtion et les sèrvices publyis pouor I'Île dé Jèrri

Monitoring of microplastics (FOI)

Monitoring of microplastics (FOI)

Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 27 November 2019.
Prepared internally, no external costs.


Given the recent new article in the Bailiwick Express in respect of Gannet Deaths in Alderney, and 'The Ocean Cleanup' organisation recent estimates that approximately 14,000kg of plastic waste enters the Bay of St. Malo from French rivers every year.
I am interested in accessing any official Government of Jersey data and summary statistics collected in the last 10 years on the amount of marine plastic and microplastic pollution in and around Jersey waters and beaches, and any assessments by government on the impact of plastic waste on our Jersey marine biodiversity.

I would like to access the sighting/record level data collected by the Société Jersiaise in respect of recorded marine wildlife sightings for the last 10 years. Ideally in spreadsheet/.csv format although any 'as is' format will also be acceptable.

Separately, any test/sampling level record data and/or environmental reports collected/produced by the Government of Jersey Marine Scientist / Official Analyst with respect to measuring microplastic pollution in Jersey’s waters and/or aggregated in the sand of our beaches.

I would be especially interested in the release of any/all data/files/analysis collected by Mr Dallas-Chapman in 2018 that is held by government.

I am also especially interested in any data/reports in respect of microplastic concentrations in and around the water treatment outlets in St. Aubin’s bay and at Havre Des Pas, and/or any assessment by government of how much plastic waste escapes Jersey Water water-treatment processes and ends up in our local waters.

Any records or photographs collected by the La Collette recycling teams on the amounts of plastic and other waste collected during 'beach clean-up events' such as the JEP beach clean-up held earlier this year in June – Would the La Collette recycling team consider taking a record of waste collected by such activities in future to help document and understand pollution on Jersey beaches?

I would also like to access a copy of any schedule/calendar for 2019/2020 for intended water sampling activities by Growth, Housing and the Environment and/or Fisheries. Including if these sampling activities test for microplastic pollution in the same manner to how we test for levels of bacteria in our bays so I may understand what sampling (if any) government undertakes.

Release copies of any other reports or statistics produced by Growth Housing and the Environment on the impact of marine plastic on the Jersey marine environment that are readily available.


Growth Housing and Environment (GHE) does not carry out any assessments relating to micro plastic pollution in Jersey’s coastal waters or what impact micro plastic has on the marine environment.  

GHE do not hold this information. This information can be obtained by contacting the Jersey Biodiversity Centre Telephone number 01534 633393.

GHE have not produced any assessment data relating to microplastic pollution in Jersey’s coastal waters or in the sand of the Island’s beaches.

GHE have however been provided with ‘author consent’ to release a copy of a dissertation written as part of a M.Sc. in Oceanography by Hannah Brittain.

(Brittain, H. (2018). Optimisation of a method to quantify microplastics in inter-tidal sediments around Jersey, Channel Islands. Southampton: University of Southampton).

This studied microplastics in beach sediment around Jersey. This document can be accessed through the following link:

Optimisation of a method to quantify microplastics in inter-tidal sediments around Jersey, Channel Islands.

The Government of Jersey are not the copyright owners of the research undertaken by Mr Dallas-Chapman, however he has given his consent to release a summary of his research which is accessible through the following link:

The distribution, concentration and composition of microplastics in beach sediments and coastal waters of Jersey CI

Mr Dallas-Chapman has also advised that an outline of his report will be available in the 2019 Société Jersiaise Annual Bulletin.

The treated effluent from the Bellozanne Sewage treatment works is discharged only through the outfall at First Tower. GHE have not carried out any analysis of microplastics leaving the treatment works. However, conventional treatment works are known to remove 95-99% of microplastics.

Magnusson, K. and Norén, F. (2014) Screening of Microplastic Particles in Down-Stream Wastewater Treatment Plant. IVL: Swedish Environmental Research Institute


Talvitie, Julia et al. (2017) Solutions to microplastic pollution: removal of microplastics from wastewater effluent with advanced wastewater treatment technologies in: Water Research 123. Aalto University: Finland pp 401-407.

GHE do not hold any records or photographs that document the findings of beach clean events. There are, however, a number of organisations such as the Marine Conservation Society and charities such as Little Feet Environmental that run beach cleans. The Marine Conservation Society run an annual beach clean which includes the gathering of statistics for submission to a national index. Their contact details can be found on their website

GHE ask organisations when they are carrying out beach clean-ups to place what they collect in the general waste bins around the coastline. These are then emptied as part of normal collections which can be a day or two later. It is not possible to differentiate this waste from ordinary waste.

GHE would not have any objection to beach clean organisers providing records of materials found during their beach cleans.

The La Collette Water Quality monitoring dates for 2019 were as follows:

Q1          w/c 11/02/2019 – 5 days
Q2          w/c 17/06/2019 – 3 days
Q3          w/c 16/09/2019 – 5 days
Q4          w/c 11/11/2019 – 3 days

Dates for the La Collette Water Quality monitoring 2020 are not yet set, but will be similar to those in 2019. Microplastics are not tested for.

The routine water quality monitoring undertaken by Environmental Protection includes:

​Groundwater - dipping (measuring height of water table) ​Monthly
​Borehole - water quality (chemical) monitoring​Bi-yearly
​Stream - nutrients monitoring​Monthly
​Stream - chemical monitoring        ​Quarterly
​Stream - macro invertebrate monitoring​Bi-yearly
​Outfall - chemical monitoring of water discharging into St Aubin's Bay​Monthly
​St Aubin's Bay (shoreline) - nutrient sampling ​Bi-monthly
​St Aubin's Bay (mid bay) - nutrient sampling ​Monthly
​Shellfish water quality monitoring (metals/bacteria)​Quarterly

GHE also undertake a range of monitoring of St Aubin’s Bay to help build up a more in depth picture of the nutrient pressures affecting St Aubin’s Bay including catchment inputs, regulatory sampling of the STW discharge and Ulva distribution in the bay-

• Outfall monitoring: Monthly monitoring of St Aubin’s Bay outfall for nutrients, dissolved oxygen and other parameters.
• Time-lapse camera: Cameras are situated around the bay taking photos to assess the occurrence, distribution and biomass of the seaweed.
• Flow monitoring - programme about to start to measure amount of water entering into St Aubin’s from catchment sources.
• Regulatory and operational data on nutrients (including total nitrogen) from the sewage treatment discharge.
As previously mentioned, GHE do not carry out any assessments relating to micro plastic pollution in Jersey’s coastal waters or the impact micro plastic has on the marine environment. However water reports that are held by the Government of Jersey can be viewed at

Also available is a report relating to Water Quality Monitoring of St Aubin’s Bay:

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