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.




This report is the outcome of the project “Marine litter and its sources in Nordic waters II” funded by the Nordic Waste Group (NAG) under The Nordic Council of Ministers in 2015–2016. The main aim of the project was to acquire knowledge of the major land-based litter sources affecting marine littering in the Nordic countries, thereby increasing knowledge of the relevant countermeasures. Since waste statistics do not tell us exactly what ends up in the sea, we have to use indirect information for the assessment. The project has developed a “Plug the Marine Litter Tap”-approach, a list of important potential local land-based sources of marine litter, that the individual municipality can evaluate based on their local knowledge. The approach is primarily designed to facilitate municipal efforts in combatting marine litter.


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