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Marine Littering and Sources in Nordic Waters

image of Marine Littering and Sources in Nordic Waters

Marine litter is a global environmental problem that endangers wildlife and has great socio-economic and aesthetic impacts. To identify sources of marine litter is an important key in order to propose cost-effective measures. Pick analyses of beach litter have therefore been conducted in order to categorise litter items from a product perspective. The results confirm that plastic are the most common litter material found on beaches in the Nordic countries. Short life items and packaging are dominating, which is strongly linked to individual consumers. It is further concluded that the plastics and packaging industry has an important role to play to decrease the amount of marine litter.

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Summary

Marine litter is a global environmental problem that endangers sensitive marine ecosystems and wildlife. It also has major socio-economic and aesthetic impact and is strongly connected to a sustainable society. Most marine litter consists of plastic material and it is generally accepted that 80% of marine litter comes from land-based sources. Identifying these sources is an important key to proposing cost-effective measures. The background to this project is a joint interest by Nordic NGOs to collaborate and expand upon their current activities e.g. clean-up campaigns and monitoring of beach litter. A model for litter categorisation from a product perspective is introduced in order to identify targeted measures to reduce marine litter.

English

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