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Combatting litter
by The Netherlands (Government)
The Netherlands is committed to take action against marine litter through a dedicated programme of measures. Our primary focus is on prevention, through an integral policy on source reduction. Important instruments are national and international environmental laws and regulation (e.a. the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive) both on land and on sea, our national programme stimulating the Circular Economy and the so-called Green Deals with the shipping sector, the harbors, beach recreation and fisheries on waste processing. Awareness raising activities are aimed at relevant sectors and the general public, including education. To complement this, programmes to remove litter are supported by the Dutch government (cleaning beaches, fishing for litter and the pilot of the Ocean Clean Up). The issue is also addressed through measures to reduce key items such as plastic bags and balloons. Specific attention is given to Clean River initiatives to reduce riverine litter. In the regional context, the Netherlands is one of the lead-countries for a number of the actions under the OSPAR Regional Action Plan (RAP) on litter. Some practical examples of the implementation of this RAP are the joint meeting this summer of OSPAR and a number of riverbasin Commissions to stimulate cooperation on (monitoring of) landbased sources, the development of further actions to decrease the input of microplastics and activities aimed at the improvement of the reception facilities for litter in harbors. The results of recent monitoring activities already show significant decrease for litter on Dutch beaches and for floating litter.
Progress reports
By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution
Type of commitment
  • Other (please specify):
  • Coastal clean-ups:
  • Plastics product bans or restrictions :
  • Plastics recovery/recycling/reuse:
  • Management of ship-based pollution and/or port waste management
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Data access and sharing
  • Scientific cooperation
Continued monitoring of litter on Dutch beaches, in birds (fulmar stomach) and on the seafloor
Development of monitoring of microplastics in sediments in the North Sea
Implementation of measures against marine litter, including: cleanup actions; education activities; awareness raising; actions to reduce specific items in the marine environment; the fishing for litter project and improvement of waste facilities on beaches, in harbours and on ships
In-kind contribution
Investing human and financial resources for the implementation of the programme of measures to reduce marine litter on a national, regional and international level.
Basic information
Time-frame: ongoing - ongoing
Private sector: shipping sector, harbors, beach recreation, fisheries IGO's: OSPAR, River Basin Commissions
Ocean Basins
  • North Atlantic
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Liz ter Kuile, Senior Advisor on Polar Affairs & Oceans, liz-ter.kuile@minbuza.nl, +31 70 348 4631
The Netherlands
Other SDGs
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