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.



Sources of marine litter

There are two main source streams for marine litter, land-based and sea-based. Information on land-based and sea-based litter sources, however, does not give much guidance on how to “Plug the Marine Litter Tap”. These sources have to be broken down to a more detailed level. Usually it is necessary to identify the different activities or sectors that generate waste and assess the risk for littering, whether intentional or accidental. In practically all cases, human behaviour and actions are behind the statistics.


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