Marine litter is a global problem. Every year many millions of tonnes of litter end up in the oceans. Marine litter is now present in every ocean and poses the fastest growing threat to our oceans and coastlines, It originates from land-based and sea-based sources and is a pollutant that causes ecological harm to marine species. It breaks down into tiny particles that can end up in the human food chain. It adsorbs harmful chemicals and facilitates the travel of invasive species. It causes serious economic harm to marine industries and to local authorities, with losses for coastal communities, tourism, fishing and shipping. Marine litter causes harm to marine animals through ingestion and entanglement. Plastic degrades slowly and the ever-increasing quantity of items that we dispose of is causing an increase in marine litter. Consequently, the resulting environmental and economic problems are worsening.
- Raise awareness at international, national and local level of the extent and effects of marine litter and microplastics
- Call for and support legislative change that prevents marine pollution
- Promote the circular economy strategy and support development of plastic-free solutions
- Work collaboratively with a wide diveristy of stakeholders and partners to reduce marine litter in the oceans, both by clean up solutions and by addressing the sources of plastic input
- Promote and facilitate intiatives to reduce marine pollution, such as the Fishing for Litter project