What is Marine Litter
Marine litter, sometimes referred to as marine debris, is defined as any persistent solid material that is manufactured or processed and directly or indirectly, intentionally or unintentionally, disposed, discarded or abandoned into the marine environment - a lake, sea, ocean or waterway. United Nations Environment estimates that up to 80 per cent of all litter in our oceans is made of plastic .
It’s about people. Not waste.
Plastic waste in our oceans can only be stopped by people: by people thinking and acting differently, by people making recycling more worthwhile, by people creating a sustainable waste management worldwide – and by people actively supporting the promotion of infrastructure and legislation that support the advancement of waste management as part of a circular economy.
There is no doubt that both local and global environmental and resource efficiency failures play a big part in the current situation. The challenges of uncollected and improper disposal of municipal waste, must be met.
ISWA is committed to playing a major part in this. Together with the organizations and individual experts it represents, ISWA possesses relevant and critical knowledge to identify both mitigating interventions and long-term solutions.
There is no doubt that both local and global environmental and resource efficiency failures play a big part in the current situation.
The challenges of uncollected and improper disposal of municipal waste, must be met.
The ISWA perspective
ISWA – International Solid Waste Association – is a global, independent and nonprofit association, working in the public interest to promote and develop sustainable and professional waste management. ISWA is open to individuals and organisations from the scientific community, public institutions and companies working in the field of and/or interested in waste management.
ISWA’s vision is to create a world where no waste exists. Our mission is to promote and develop sustainable and professional waste management worldwide.
Every year at least 8 million tonnes, the equivalent of one full refuse truck per minute, of plastic find its way into the world’s oceans. If no action is taken, this is expected to increase to two full refuse trucks of plastics per minute by 2030, and four per minute by 2050.
It is time to turn off the tap.
The ISWA Marine Task Litter Force identified three key challenges in fulfilling our mission of establishing a sound waste management system, which will prevent plastic waste reaching our oceans:
Prevent littering and dumping
Prevent littering and dumping of waste items, intentionally and unintentionally, in absence of suitable collection infrastructure.
Develop practices for sound collection and disposal of municipal waste
Identify and demonstrate realistic best practices that can be adopted by local, regional and national authorities.
Global evolution of efficient resource management
Promote sufficient value of secondary plastics as part of a resource efficient circular economy.
How to prevent marine litter
Sound waste management practices are the key to reducing marine litter. Most materials that go on to become marine litter could be effectively intercepted before entering the aquatic environments by establish a sound waste management.
Sound solid waste and resource managment is the only major effective prevention because, on average, the majority of marine litter origniates from on-land activities, mostly as a result of usustainable solid waste management practices.
Take action now and support a clean ocean!
1. UNEP. (2017). UN Declares War on Ocean Plastic #UNEnvironment. [online] Available at: www.unep.org/newscentre/un-declares-war-ocean-plastic.
2. D. K. a Barnes, F. Galgani, R. C. Thompson, and M. Barlaz, “Accumulation and fragmentation of plastic debris in global environments.,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B. Biol. Sci., vol. 364, no. 1526, pp. 1985–1998, 2009.
3. Unesco.org. (2017). Facts and figures on marine pollution | United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. [online] Available at: www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/ioc-oceans/focus-areas/rio-20-ocean/blueprint-for-the-future-we-want/marine-pollution/facts-and-figures-on-marine-pollution/.