Plug the marine litter tap

A pilot study on potential marine litter sources in urban areas

image of Plug the marine litter tap

Marine litter is a growing environmental problem where especially plastic material is accumulated in the seas where it will fragment to smaller pieces. The purpose of the presented pilot study is to raise awareness amongst officials at municipalities and authorities about the need to reduce the presence of litter in the marine environment and to give ideas/suggestions on how this can be done. The project has therefore developed a “Plug the Marine Litter Tap”-approach, which together with local knowledge and experience, can be used to identify sources of marine debris by using existing statistics. Södertälje is used as a pilot area where we give examples on indicators for marine litter in the urban environment and proposed measures for each indicator. We hope that this will encourage municipalities to reflect on how preventive measures against marine litter can be incorporated in local waste management plans and become part of their regular routine.




Unidentified pieces of plastic that originate from different kinds of single use packaging are the most common items found on Swedish beaches. This paints a pretty ugly picture of our habits and consumptions patterns. (Håll Sverige Rent, 2016) It is not a big secret where all the marine litter comes from, it comes from you and me. Regardless of emotional impact of this realisation, it is a huge economic cost for society and it has a massive negative impact on the marine environment and its wildlife. The final cost is yet to be revealed.


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