Draft Scottish Marine Litter Strategy Consultation

Marine litter impacts on Scotland’s society, economy and marine environment. The draft strategy we consult on will aim to address the levels of marine litter present in our marine and coastal environment.

Annex B: Stakeholder Workshop - 27 August 2012 - Summary Report

The Scottish Government held a Marine Litter workshop at New Register House in Edinburgh on Monday 27 August 2012. Nineteen participants were involved from across different sectors.

The workshop was run in two sections. The morning session considered the Vision, Strategic Directions and preferred Option on ambition and delivery of the Strategy, and the afternoon's session focussed on the proposed Strategic Directions. The participants were split into two groups and given an opportunity to provide views on the five Strategic Directions, and what actions should be included in the Strategy. Key points emerging from facilitated discussion were recorded.

Here we present a summary of the discussions, and comments which were submitted separately in writing.


The group discussed the wording of a draft vision.

By 2020 marine litter in Scotland is reduced and does not pose a significant risk to the environment or communities. This is supported by a vision of a zero waste society where people and businesses act responsibly, and reuse, recycle and recover waste resources.

There was discussion around the use of the word ' risk' and how it might be interpreted, the group suggested that we might consider an alternative to add some clarity, possible suggestions included using ' risks' and that we should elaborate on the meaning of risks early in the Strategy.

It was suggested that we might include ' marine and coastal' litter.

Possibly replace ' vision' with ' strategy' or ' aspiration', possibly to read ' This is reflected by our …..'.

Omission of the word ' reduce' from the three Rs part. Should it be added?

Strategic Directions:

The group discussed the 5 proposed strategic directions. There was general endorsement and recognition of the need for these to co-ordinate with other activities in the marine/terrestrial environment.

Strategic Direction 1: Improve public awareness of, and behaviour changes around, marine litter.

It was suggested that we should consider removing ' marine' as the Strategy includes litter that enters from the terrestrial environment - National Litter Strategy will cover this aspect.

It was also suggested that we might think what we consider to be 'unique marine issues'.

Does the term 'public' encompass 'business'?

Consider use of 'incentive' schemes e.g. images of wildlife.

Strategic Direction 2: Reduction of land-sourced marine litter entering the marine environment.

It was noted that we should continue and co-ordinate what is happening already under this heading.

Polluter pays - who?

Scottish Water investment - in the context of Marine Litter, improvements have been acknowledged but not always taken into account. Focus on known Sewage Related Debris ( SRD) hotspots and continued planned network and Unacceptable Intermittent Discharges work to meet other environmental drivers will also be beneficial in reducing SRD. Bathing water studies that have identified a potential need for screening will be investigated further to determine if there is also an SRD issue.

Vital to determine the best means to control pollutants, including litter, in a sustainable manner by preventing their release into the sewerage system.

Focusing on discharges from Wastewater Treatment Works and end of pipe solutions risks driving financially costly and carbon intense approaches to environmental protection, inconsistent with the polluter pays principle.

Strategic Direction 3: Contribute to a low carbon economy by treating 'waste as a resource' and seizing the economic and environmental opportunities associated with the Zero Waste Plan.

Strategic Direction 4: Improvement of monitoring at a Scottish scale.

Strategic Direction 5: Engagement at the UK, EU and international scales.

Should include 'engagement with stakeholders'.

Options for Delivery:

Following earlier discussions with Marine Strategy Forum and Marine Litter Steering Group members on the three proposed options for delivery, it was suggested that a new option 4 (to include aspects of option 2 and 3) be developed, based around medium cost and a networked approach. Option 4 should focus on deliverables within the resources available and could potentially include:

  • National Stakeholder Group
  • Networked approach
  • Central resources including a Policy Officer
  • Financial resources to deliver.

The group discussed the proposed options for delivery, focusing on the new Option 4.

The group thought that the national stakeholder group could include an international element and that resourcing should be co-ordinated.

It was felt that, at a local level, there should be a range of standard delivery methods to pick from.

The option should include the funding of select groups.

2. Breakout Sessions:

The workshop was split into two groups for two breakout sessions to discuss the details that should fall under the 5 proposed Strategic Directions (See Annex).

The comments also include those submitted in writing prior to the workshop.

NB. All bullet points under SD headings were shortened for purposes of workshop only.

SD1 - Improve Public Awareness

Important to link into other actions e.g. zero waste agenda.

Public awareness goes wider than consumers.

High profile call to action - national level - set messages and promotion of wider activities - but national campaign difficult to do.

Funding from private sector?

Co-ordination of activities within Government.

Co-ordination between other bodies/sectors.

Actions by industry bodies.

Consistent on a national level.

Packaging/design/labelling to reinforce messages - National Litter Strategy to consider this.

Identify method of beach cleaning that doesn't damage beach

Bullet 2: point 2 - add 'and means of collection i.e. mechanical'

SD2 - Reduction of Sources of Litter

Port facilities.

National reduction and management strategies.

Sewage related debris costs.

Co-ordination with Zero Waste Scotland activity.

System to report dumping of fishing gear.

Tie-in to riverine inputs and catchment.

Role of Strategy in enforcement.

MARPOL - January 2013 port regulations - low threat so measure introduces relatively high costs on industry whilst delivering negligible environmental benefit.

Port waste reception facilities - All harbours are required to have waste facilities which must be accessible.

No special fee reception facilities - current regulations require a fee to be charged for waste management levied on all commercial vessels calling (unless they have an MCA approved waste exemption) regardless of whether they use facilities.

A system for returning inadvertently trawled and dredged litter would be a valuable contribution - but who would pay? Disposal of dredge spoil (which is not litter) would be impracticable and costly.

System to report vessels illegally dumping waste at sea - already exists through the MCA - challenging if no other evidence.

Incorporation of environmental responsibilities into education and training of ship owners etc - port/harbour/shipping line already doing this?

Recycling/reuse for ropes/nets generally an issue.

Question use of voluntary actions under 'Code of Practice'.

Lobbying of resources.

Provision of training.

Guidance on removing beach litter.

Include ports/harbours and marinas in 'other proposals'.

Getting balance right - incentives/enforcement of legislation.

SD3 - Contribution to Low Carbon Economy

Incentives for beach cleans to separate sources and recycle.

Recycling fishing nets and gear and reporting of lost gear.

Wording aim and approach:

  • Waste as a resource - targeted before it becomes marine litter.
  • Resource both pre litter and after.

Need to include aquaculture and marinas.

Incentives for port and harbour reception facilities - State Veterinary Service forbids recycling of material from a vessel that has ever called at a port outside the EU - such facilities will remain few and far between.

Bullet 1: but need facilities for recycling and disposal


  • Design of packaging so less resource in first place
  • Reduce packaging
  • What is used should be recyclable

Improve facilities and signage:


  • Recycling on the Go design that seagulls can't get into
  • Standard bins used by councils often wrong choice
  • Local authority legislation or guidance?
  • Bin emptying
  • New action point

Marine Litter Strategy should be included in procurement guidance:

  • Procurement action plans
  • Made with a certain % recycled material - Possibly not for MLS but ZW plan?
  • Add to packaging action?

Identify what items are specific to beaches?

SD4 - Improvement of Monitoring - what needs to be done?

System to include local knowledge.

Improve availability of/access to information e.g. central database.

SD5 UK & International Engagement - what needs to be done?


Co-ordination and engagement.

Phrases missing - Share best practice and co-ordination

Bullet 2: At Scottish level, engagement outwith Scotland, co-ordination within Scotland.

Bullet 3: 'Competent authorities' - Engagement, Best Practice, Actively influence.

Bullet 4: possibility of extending beaches looked at under OSPAR.

Bullet 5: National plan should identify what must be done but local choice of how to do it from a range of standard options.

Regional action plans?


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