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.



Legislation and strategies

Marine legislation and policy documents are necessary approachs in combatting marine litter. For the Nordic countries, EU legislation is especially important, since it is applicable in all EU countries. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) (2008/56/EC) is one of the most significant EU laws regulating the marine environment. The focus on marine litter increased when MSDF came into force. Marine litter is one of the eleven descriptors requiring national measures to achieve good environmental status. Another law that indirectly has great impact on marine litter is The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC), as it regulates waste management. The Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (94/62/EC) is also of great significance, since a large amount of packaging ends up as litter in the marine environment and on beaches. (Newman et al. 2013) These three laws are briefly presented below, together with two Regional Action Plans for the Baltic Sea (HELCOM) and the North Sea (OSPAR) and EU's Circular Economy Package.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error