Dec 19, 2017

Action on Reducing Marine Litter

Public consultation on reducing marine litter: actions on single use plastics and fishing gear.


The European Commission seeks input, opinions and data for preparation of follow-up to the Plastics Strategy in relation to marine litter, particularly from single use plastics and fishing gear.


Plastics are an important material in our economy and present in many aspects of our daily lives; but they also have relatively low rates of reuse and recycling and are prone to littering.


Plastics make up 85% of beach litter; single use items represent 61% and fishing related items 20% of these plastic items. The most found single-use plastics items in beach litter are cigarette butts, drinks bottles and their caps/lids, cotton bud sticks, sanitary towels (which are typically 90% plastic), bags, crisps packets and sweets wrappers, straws and stirrers, balloons and balloon sticks, food containers, cups and cup lids, and cutlery. Together these account for about three-quarters of such SUP litter. 

Another issue of concern is plastic waste from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, in particular from fishing gear that is lost by accident (for example due to weather conditions) or discarded when it is no longer fit for use.

The Commission's Plastic Strategy in early 2018 will address possible approaches to address other single-use plastic items and marine litter including lost or abandoned fishing gear. Follow-up proposals by the Commission will be considered in the near future on the basis of available data and analysis.
This consultation is intended to contribute to developing this knowledge base and guide such future actions.
For more information or to take part in the consultation and complete the questionnaire click here
Solway Firth Partnership