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Marine Littering

Monday, Feb 3, 2014
Marine Littering
Marine Littering

Pollution from marine littering is a serious threat! It is a global concern affecting all the oceans of the world and particularly the Mediterranean Sea. Every year, millions and millions of tons of litter end up in the ocean worldwide, turning it into the world's biggest landfill and thus posing environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problems.

Land-based sources account for up to 80% of marine litter and are particularly a result of sewer overflows, lack of public awareness, inappropriate waste collection and treatment infrastructure and tourism related littering.

Plastic wastes, due to their extremely low degradation rates and the diverse risks emanating from them to humans, animals and plants, play a crucial role in the pollution.

Many of the coastal areas most affected by the burden of waste in the sea are also particularly dependent on tourism. Deficiencies in the implementation and enforcement of existing international, regional, and national regulations and standards that could improve the situation combined with a lack of awareness among main stakeholders and the general public are other major reasons why the marine litter problem not only remains, but continues to increase worldwide. Furthermore, marine litter is part of the broader problem of waste management, which is becoming a major public health and environmental concern in many countries.

Throughout the month of February, our section “Theme of the Month” will inform you about the issue of marine littering in our region which includes discussion on producer responsibility, successful experiences and case studies from the region and also reports on global and national strategies. SWEEP-Net members from different fields are expected to present their approaches, expertise and experiences.

We would welcome your contribution with own experiences, good practices or even your suggestions and recommendations to the presented cases.

We hope you enjoy reading,

Your SWEEP-Net Team

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The content of these articles does not necessarily reflect the official opinion of SWEEP-Net or the GIZ. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in these articles lies entirely with the author(s).