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.



Södertälje municipality, a case study

In this easy to use “Plug the Marine Litter Tap” -approach we provide the information needed to determine which indicators to target with measures for reducing marine litter. The first step is to identify potential marine litter sources in the chosen area. By applying a selection of indicators to a chosen area, e.g. a municipality, local knowledge can be added to determine which indicators exert the most influence. This list can then be used to effectively search the statistics. The sources of the statistics are shown in the approach, and analysis of this data enables the municipality to employ targeted preventive measures. If the region or municipality is not yet measuring litter, a good idea is to start with that to establish a baseline for comparison and to measure the effect targeted measures have had.


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