Marine litter issues, impacts and actions

A study that will contribute to developing a marine litter strategy for Scotland’s seas in light of the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010.

8 Evaluation of Marine Litter Legislation and Alignment within a Scottish Marine Litter Strategy

A vast amount of legislation exists with regards to marine litter. National and regional waste management structures, the actions of industries, and community and personal responsibility are complex issues that cross jurisdictions and scales and therefore have evolved a variety of associated instruments. There is a disconnect between land and sea, with most management and policy arrangements in Scotland focusing on the terrestrial dimension, a key pressure on the quality of coastal and marine systems in terms of marine litter and pollution. However, as identified, litter is also derived from the marine dimension. As a result, there has been the emergence of a regime for addressing and attempting to improve litter management from a range of maritime industries, and legislative requirements under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to control and reduce the problem. From Figure 8-1 below it is clear that there is a sufficient mix of regulatory tools that can be used to inform and implement a Scottish Marine litter Strategy. The table identifies the key instruments from the international, EU and Scottish scales, with notes on alignment to a potential strategy.

Figure 8 1 Evaluation of International, EU, UK and Scottish Legislation and Policy

Instrument Relevance to Marine Litter Management (H-M-L) Scope Implementation in Scotland / alignment with Scottish Strategy
International Regulations
MARPOL Annex V (Garbage) H MARPOL regulates the types and quantities of garbage that ships may discharge into the sea. The disposal of plastic anywhere into the sea is prohibited and the discharge of other wastes is restricted in coastal waters and "Special Areas" (e.g. North Sea). Port State control officers can inspect a vessel on grounds of negligence relating to the prevention of pollution by garbage. Annex V provides for:
  • the prohibition of disposal of plastics into the sea;
  • the prohibition of disposal of other garbage except in certain circumstances;
  • restrictions on ships entering Antarctic Treaty waters without sufficient capacity for garbage retention onboard;
  • inspections to be carried out with regards to garbage management and procedures on ships;
  • Governments to be required to ensure the provision of facilities at ports and terminals for the reception of garbage;
  • the imposition of requirements to carry placards relating to the disposal of garbage;
  • a garbage management plan; and
  • a garbage record book
March 2010, 140 states have ratified MARPOL Annex V & cover 97.5% of the world's shipping tonnage. Enforcement is still a problem; however Garbage Management Plans and Garbage Record Books can assist in investigations by Port authorities. The dumping of all plastic at sea is banned butwith poor enforcement and insignificant fines, it holds very little deterrent for polluters. 2010 review of Annex V by Marine Environment Protection Committee ( MEPC) of the IMO has raised a number of amendments. Changes include the updating of definitions; the inclusion of a new requirement specifying that discharge of all garbage into the sea is prohibited except as expressly provided otherwise; and expansion of the requirements for placards and garbage management plans. OSPAR QSR 2010 notes information is too limited to quantify the contribution of shipping to impacts such as oil spills or litter and to evaluate progress made since 1998. Improved monitoring is a priority. MARPOL is administered in the UK under The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage and Garbage from Ships) Regulations 2008 with enforcement carried out by the MCA. There have been few prosecutions to date under this legislation but several ships have been inspected and delayed in port. MCA surveyors also regularly inspect both foreign and UK flag commercial and fishing vessels to ensure compliance with international maritime conventions or domestic Merchant Shipping legislation. The MCA will detain non-compliant vessels when appropriate. Garbage plans and records apply to ships of 400 gross tonnage &above and/or ships certified to carry 15 persons or more. Practicality of this applying to all ships of any size? Sectors: Ships, fishing, recreation
London Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matters1972 / 1996 Protocol M One of the first global conventions to protect the marine environment - in force since 1975. Its objective is to promote the control of all sources of marine pollution and to take steps to prevent pollution of the sea by dumping of wastes from ships, structures, aircraft and platforms. This is in contrast to MARPOL which governs waste from the day to day operation of shipping. The convention uses 'black' and 'grey' lists. Black list items are prohibited and grey list items require permission and are subject to strict regulation from national authorities. Persistent plastic materials are prohibited from being dumped. The 1996 Protocol modernises the convention and will eventually, replace it. Under the Protocol all dumping is prohibited, except for acceptable wastes on the so-called "reverse list". The "reverse list" is based on a precautionary approach, which implies that all dumping is prohibited unless explicitly permitted. The Protocol entered into force on 24 March 2006 and there are currently 39 Parties to the Protocol. There are no compliance mechanisms under the London Convention, however, with the entry into force of the London Protocol on 26 March 2006, a set of Compliance Procedures and Mechanisms, pursuant to Article 11, were adopted in November 2007. 39 parties to the London Protocol - lack of international coverage. Traditional drawbacks of international law - enforcement, monitoring and opt out procedures by states. UK has ratified this agreement. The Secretary of State for the Environment is responsible for negotiation, representation and policy formulation in relation to the London Convention and Protocol, and guidelines issued under it. The Food and Environment Protection Act 1985 ( FEPA) provides the necessary statutory means to meet the UK's obligations under both the London Convention and is the relevant Scottish instrument for the management of pollution from dumping at sea. This will be repealed by provisions in the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. Sectors: Ships, oil & gas, coastal infrastructure; ports, renewable energy.
Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic 1992 ( OSPAR Convention) H OSPAR identifies threats to the marine environment and organises programmes and measures to ensure national action to combat them. Work to implement the Convention is taken forward through the adoption of legally binding decisions and recommendations that set out actions to be taken by the Contracting Parties. The UK is one of 16 contracting parties to OSPAR and Defra is the lead co-ordinating department. A variety of government departments, devolved administrations and agencies contribute to OSPAR committees and programs and OSPAR decisions influence UK and Scottish policy and regulatory instruments. OSPAR members implement a range of monitoring programs including the Quality Status Reports and the Co-ordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme ( CEMP). Since 1998, OSPAR has monitored levels of beach litter, initially through a pilot project and then through a voluntary monitoring programme OSPAR influences a range of UK and Scottish regulations including FEPA, Petroleum Act 1998, and the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and Marine (Scotland) Act 2010. OSPAR should extend its marine litter monitoring on beaches in all Regions and consider including it in its Coordinated Environmental Monitoring Programme. Include monitoring of water column and the seabed. Despite initiatives to reduce the amount of marine litter in the OSPAR area, overall levels in areas monitored are frequently unacceptable. Sectors: All maritime sectors generally. Specific to oil and gas, conservation, coastal infrastructure.
European Regulations
EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC) H Member States are required to develop strategies in order to achieve and maintain 'good environmental status' by 2020. MSFD identifies marine litter (descriptor 10) as one of 11 qualitative descriptors for determining good environmental status. To achieve this, the "properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment‟. The directive divides the EU waters into marine regions and subregions and Member States should develop programmes and measures, which are designed to achieve or maintain good environmental status by 2020. Key requirements:
  • An assessment of the current state of UK seas by July 2012
  • A detailed description of what Good Environmental Status means for UK waters, and associated targets and indicators by July 2012
  • Establishment of a monitoring programme to measure progress towards GES by July 2014
  • Establishment of a programme of measures for achieving GES by 2016
While it is too early to assess the effectiveness of the MSFD in the UK, it will be a central element driving a Scottish marine litter strategy. The GES descriptors, in particular Descriptor 10, will drive action at a Scottish scale to monitor and improve environmental quality. A marine litter strategy will be a primary means of coordinating response to the MSFD Descriptor 10. The Marine Strategy Regulations 2010, in s6.1 highlight that each devolved policy authority must provide the Secretary of State with: (a)proposals for- (i)the establishment of the monitoring programmes for the devolved marine area; (ii)the determination of a programme of measures for the devolved marine area; and (iii) the review or update of such monitoring programmes or programme of measures. (b)information, including information for any review or update, to support- (i)the assessment of marine waters for the devolved marine area; (ii)the determination of the characteristics of good environmental status for any area within the devolved marine area which is distinct as regards its hydrological, oceanographic and biogeographic features; and (iii) the development of environmental targets and indicators for any area within the devolved marine area which is distinct as regards its hydrological, oceanographic and biogeographic features . Sectors: all
EU Directive on Port Reception Facilities for Ship-generated Wasteand Cargo Residues (EC2000/59) H This directive aims to improve the availability and use of port reception facilities, in order to reduce the illegal discharge of waste from ships and cargo residues. Ports must set up waste handling plants and make available adequate reception facilities. Every ship is required to deliver ship-generated waste and cargo residues to ports. All ships are to pay a set fee for waste disposal, irrespective of their actual use of the facilities. Member states must ensure proper monitoring of compliance with the directive, by means of spot checks and the exchange of information between ports. Ships that do not deliver waste in one port will be reported to their next port of call for a more detailed inspection. The Port Waste Reception Facilities Regulations entered into force on 16th July 2003. There are three significant changes under the new regulations: All ships must provide notification before entering into the port or terminal of the waste they will discharge, including information on types and quantities, All ships must deliver their waste to the port reception facilities before leaving the port, unless they have sufficient dedicated storage capacity to store the waste until the next port of call, All ships must pay a charge to make a significant contribution to the cost of the port reception facilities for ship generated waste, whether they use them or not. Directive 2000/59/EC is implemented in the UK through the Merchant Shipping Act 1995, Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 2003 and the (Amendment) Regulations 2009. These regulations stipulate that Ports and Harbours must provide adequate facilities for waste disposal. The acts raise significant monitoring and compliance issues for Scottish and UK authorities. Is current resourcing appropriate for adequate monitoring of reception facilities and compliance with the Directive by Port operators? To what extent does information exchange occur between ports within and external to Scotland concerning marine litter? A debate exists over the effectiveness of the fee structure in driving invectives and behaviours. A European Maritime safety Agency review in 2005 highlighted mixed use of reception facilities, and wide interpretation of the fee structure. One reason given for ships failure to discharge their waste to shore has been inadequate provision of waste reception facilities. The incentive for dumping at sea is high and can save on the fees that ports charge for the use of such facilities. This is compounded by a lack of monitoring and enforcement issues. An approach, known as a "no-special-fee" system incorporates the cost of port facilities use in the general harbour dues which all ships pay. This aims to remove incentive for ships choosing to dump at sea. At present legislation only requires a partial inclusion of facility fees in harbour dues with savings still to be made by ships that choose to dump at sea instead.
Directive 2008/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 November 2008 on waste H Directive 2008/98/EC on waste establishes the legislative framework for the handling of waste in the European Union. It defines; "Member States shall take appropriate measures, in cooperation with other Member States, to establish an integrated and adequate network of waste disposal installations and of installations for the recovery of mixed municipal waste collected from private households, including where such collection also covers such waste from other producers, taking into account best available techniques." Specifies an obligation for the Member States to draw up waste management plans. It defines concepts such as waste, recovery and disposal and puts in place the requirements for the management of waste, notably an obligation for an establishment or undertaking carrying out waste management operations to have a permit or to be registered. It also establishes principles such as an obligation to handle waste in a way that does not have a negative impact on the environment or human health and to develop measures and legislation to apply the waste hierarchy in accordance with the polluter-pays principle. The hierarchy stipulates that waste must be managed in order of: 1) prevention 2) reuse 3) recycle 4) energy recovery. In Scotland, the directive is implemented by a complex range of legislative instruments initiating from The Environment Act 1995 (establishing SEPA as the regulatory body for control of pollution and waste) and the Environmental Protection Act 1990 that establishes in England, Scotland and Wales the structure and authority for waste management and control of emissions into the environment. Subsequently amended by a range of Scottish Waste regulations, the Scottish regulations have evolved over a decade from the initial Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 through several Statutory amendments. A current draft of The Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Regulations 2011 and the Waste (Scotland) Regulations 2011 aims to consolidate all previous legislation and streamline waste licensing and management and incorporate elements of the 2008 Directive. In 2010 the Waste Information (Scotland) Regulations were passed requiring persons having control or management of undertakings to comply with any request made to them by SEPA for information relating to waste associated with that undertaking. SEPA itself is undergoing a reform process and is proposing to improve, simplify and better integrate the environmental protection and improvement services it provides. Current consultation on 'Better Environmental Regulation' aims to boost efficiency and streamline monitoring and licensing services. The Zero Waste Plan is a cornerstone of implementation of the Directive in Scotland and is detailed below. Any marine litter strategy should be compliant with the Zero Waste Plan (detailed below).
EU Directive on Packaging and Packaging waste (Directive 2004/12/EC) M The main objective of the Directive on Packaging and Packaging Waste is to prevent packaging waste by encouraging packaging re-use and recycling, while at the same time avoiding distortions in the internal market. The Directive requests that Member States introduce systems for the return and/or collection of used packaging and defines specific targets for packaging waste recovery and recycling. This Directive aims to harmonise national measures in order to prevent or reduce the impact of packaging and packaging waste on the environment. It contains provisions on the prevention of packaging waste, on the re-use of packaging and on the recovery and recycling of packaging waste. In Scotland the Directive is implemented via the Producers' Responsibility Obligations (Packaging Waste) Regulations that provide the statutory framework by which the UK must meet the minimum recovery and recycling targets. These Regulations place obligations on all UK companies that have a turnover exceeding £2 million and that handle more than 50 tonnes of packaging per annum and are enforced by SEPA. The Regs were amended in 2010 to establish new targets. The amendments have also clarified the position with regards to packaging that is moved offshore to marine installations where any packaging moved to such installations forms part of a producer's obligations and cannot be excluded.
Bathing Water Directive (2006/7/EC) The main objective of the Bathing Water Directives (76/160/EEC and 2006/7/EC) is to protect public health and the environment from faecal pollution at bathing water sites. Member States are required to identify popular bathing areas and to monitor water quality throughout the bathing season. The revised Directive uses two parameters to assess water quality, Escherichia coli and intestinal enterococci, using a four year data set for each set of results, and sets much tighter standards than the original Directive. There will be four classification categories: Excellent (approximately twice as stringent as the current Guideline standard); Good (similar to the current Guideline); Sufficient (approximately twice as stringent as the current Mandatory standard) and Poor, for waters which do not comply with the Directive's standards. There will be a new requirement for information about water quality and potential sources of pollution at bathing waters to be provided on signs and via the internet. Regular reviews of the list of bathing waters will be carried out and the public will be encouraged to participate in the review. In March 2006 the revised Directive came into force. This was enacted in the UK by the Bathing Waters (Scotland) Regulations 2008 which came into effect in May 2008. Key features include increased provision of public information, tighter microbiological standards to be met by 2015 and monitoring to be commenced by 2012. All bathing waters must be of at least sufficient standard, and that appropriate measures are taken to increase the numbers of bathing waters classified as excellent or good by 2015. Whilst the criteria relating to the classification of bathing waters are bacteriological, the revision states other parameters must also be considered in a bathing water's management. Amongst these considerations is the presence of litter pollution. Acknowledged that the responsibility for controlling litter on beaches is local authorities and communities. Actions on implementing the BWD integrate with Water Framework Directive and river basin management planning and the Water Environment and Water Services (Scotland) Act 2003. While the WFD relates primarily to the management of aquatic pollutants, environmental objectives and management plans need to be established for each planning district. The Marine Strategy Framework Directive Good Environmental Status indicator 10 will also apply to all Water Framework Directive water bodies for litter.
Scottish Legislation and Initiatives
Scottish Government Zero Waste Plan H The Zero Waste Plan sets the strategic direction for waste policy in Scotland and applies the process and approach in the waste management hierarchy. It sets the goals for achieving the strategy with a focus on a cultural change of waste as a resource. This vision describes a Scotland where resource use is minimised, valuable resources are not disposed of in landfills, and waste is sorted into streams for reprocessing, leaving only limited amounts of waste to go to residual waste treatment, including energy from waste facilities. A zero waste Scotland will: * be where everyone - individuals, the public and business sectors - appreciates the environmental, social and economic value of resources, and how they can play their part in using resources efficiently; * reduce Scotland's impact on the environment, both locally and globally, by minimising the unnecessary use of primary materials, reusing resources where possible, and recycling and recovering value from materials when they reach the end of their life; * help to achieve the targets set in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 of reducing Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions by 42% by 2020 and 80% by 2050; * contribute to sustainable economic growth by seizing the economic and environmental business and job opportunities of a zero waste approach. It sets actions under the topics of resource streams; economic opportunity; resource management sector; and education and awareness. Detail of actions from: Particular actions in the Zero Waste Plan will have a resonance with a Marine Litter Strategy. The two will be closely linked across particular waste streams, industry innovation, and public education and awareness. The plan will provide the means of reducing the litter from source, including point and non-point means. Actions to be carried forward into a marine strategy include: Resource Streams:
  • The Scottish Government will introduce a long term target of 70% recycling for all waste arising in Scotland by 2025, regardless of its source, based on improved data and supported by sector-specific programmes of work.
  • The Scottish Government will introduce progressive bans on the types of materials that may be disposed of in landfill, and associated support measures, to ensure that no resources with a value for reuse or recycling are sent to landfill by 2020.
Economic opportunity
  • SEPA with the Scottish Government will develop further and implement the Better Waste Regulation Action Programme to support delivery of the Zero Waste Plan
  • Development of Low Carbon Economic Strategy investing in Environmental and Clean Technologies.
  • The Scottish Government will continue to support the development of collection and reprocessing capacity for plastics.
Waste Sector
  • The Scottish Government, with local planning authorities and SEPA, will ensure the land use planning system supports the Zero Waste Plan and the provision of local waste infrastructure.
  • Zero Waste Scotland will develop and implement, in cooperation with local authorities, a consistent, targeted, coordinated and phased education and awareness programme to encourage participation of the public and businesses to meet zero waste objectives.
  • Zero Waste Scotland, in cooperation with local authorities, will review the success of measures to influence waste behaviours, including incentives.
Environmental Protection Act 1990 Despite the fact that the EPA act has been considerably amended over the past 20 years, elements of the Act are still in force and provide the baseline for litter management in Scotland. Under Section 87 of the EPA 1990, it is an offence to drop litter in any public place, including beaches. Section 88 allows local authority officers and / or accredited persons to issue a fixed penalty notice for leaving litter. The EPA also places duties on, and gives powers to, the local authority to keep its beaches clear of litter according to the Code of Practice. In 2000, a revised Code of Practice extended the requirements from amenity beaches to all beaches. Duty bodies are advised that they may find it helpful to encourage voluntary groups to assist in cleaning up beaches. The Code of Practice was updated again in 2006. The code now carries a description of aquatic litter, and guidance suggests that between May and September beaches should be subject to a frequent monitoring routine, and cleansed to as practicable a standard as possible. The Environmental Protection Act 1990 (the Act) imposes under S89 a duty on local authorities and certain other landowners and occupiers (the duty bodies) to keep specified land clear of litter and refuse so far as is practicable. The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2006, established under S89.7 specifies the duties for authorities and guidance on the cleaning regime. It states that Duty Bodies are responsible for keeping beaches clear of litter as far as practicably possible accumulations. Based on levels of use and time it sets standards of acceptable levels of cleanliness. Scotland's beaches are categorised into one of four zones;
  • Amenity Beach (Blue Flag beaches and those adjoining designated bathing waters)
  • Recreational Beach (managed beach, award winning beach or beach adjoining other SEPA sampled waters)
  • Sensitive Conservation Area ( SSSIs, SPAs, SACs and nature reserves)
  • Other Beach (any other beach)
The Code is based on four grades of cleanliness;
  • Grade A: no litter or refuse;
  • Grade B: predominantly free of litter and refuse, other than a few small items;
  • Grade C: widespread distribution of litter and refuse with minor accumulations;
  • Grade D: heavily littered with significant accumulations.
If the level of cleanliness falls below a Grade B, the Code sets a response time in which the Duty Body must restore the land to its given standard depending on the time of year and the zone in which that beach falls. Under S91 persons aggrieved by litter may take legal action against the person who has the duty to keep the area clean. Under S92 local authorities may also undertake summary proceedings. In 2010 KSB visited 71 beaches and assessed them in line with the EPA and COP. Of those visited 85% achieved a Grade B standard, with 15% falling below the minimum legal cleanliness standard. Of those not achieving the minimum acceptable cleanliness standard 10% achieved a Grade C and 5% a Grade D. A Marine Litter strategy should take into account the obligation of 'duty of care' for beaches as prescribed in the Act. Furthermore the provisions in the Act provide the basis of enforcement activity for coastal litter.
Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 The Marine (Scotland) Act is a major reform that will implement national and regional marine planning and address the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive. The management of litter, while not directly specified under the Act, may fall under the scope of the marine planning and licensing regime. Marine planning will be critical for influencing the spatial extent and license regime for many maritime activities, including activities that have not been regulated in the past such as marine leisure and tourism. The Act specifies under Part 2 s.3 the duty of Scottish Ministers for sustainable development and protection and enhancement of the health of the Scottish marine area. Under s.4 there is a duty to ensure Mitigation of and adaptation to climate change in the Scottish marine area and to meet the requirements of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. Part 3 implements a new marine planning system for Scotland. Although MSP is yet to be implemented in Scottish seas, we see it as providing the overall vision for a marine region, and the policy 'glue' that will coordinate activities underpin integrated and joined up thinking across sectors and issues. The Act provides the framework for the new marine licensing regime for activities carried out in the marine environment, such as deposits in the sea, dredging, marine renewable projects and other construction works. Licensing decisions will be closely linked with the new marine planning arrangements. Marine Scotland will be the first point of contact for all marine licensing applications under FEPA, CPA and section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 consents, within the Scottish marine area from 0-200 nautical miles (nm) through powers within the Marine (Scotland) Act and the UK Marine and Coastal Access Act. The new marine licence will replace a number of existing consenting regimes and their consolidation will draw together into a single licensing decision, consideration of environmental, human health and navigational safety factors as well as the interests of other users of the sea. Scottish ministers must prepare a national marine plan and may prepare regional marine plans. Part 3 s.5 (4) of the Act provides that for a marine plan Scottish Ministers must set- (i)economic, social and marine ecosystem objectives, (ii)objectives relating to the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change, (b)prepare an assessment of the condition of the Scottish marine area or, as the case may be, Scottish marine region at the time of the plan's preparation, (c)prepare a summary of significant pressures and the impact of human activity on the area or region. The pre-consultation draft national marine plan includes marine litter objectives to be further operationalised in the regional marine plans. At present the draft consultation specifies that the GES Descriptor 10 forms the objective. While this will need to be further specified across marine regions for example across different habitats, industries and regional targets. As a result, relevant authorities will have to take authorisation or enforcement decisions 'in accordance' with the marine plan that contains litter based objectives. A Scottish Marine Litter strategy should take into account these requirements and deliver assessments and recommendations at the regional and national scale. Planning can also integrate an appropriate mix of regulatory instruments at a regional scale. With drivers from the Zero Waste Plan, the Climate Change Act, and EU Directives, particularly the MSFD, marine licensing is an important instrument to improve litter management practices across maritime industries and users. For example, licensing or approvals could further the implementation of waste management plans, facilities for recycling or waste, and incentives for marine users and industries to bring back litter to shore. The option of marine licensing for litter management should be looked at in the context of the SEPA regulatory efficiency reforms.
The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 received Royal Assent on August 4, 2009 and is ambitious legislation that articulates the Scottish commitment to reducing greenhouse gases and developing a low carbon economy. Part 1 of the Act, creates the statutory framework for greenhouse gas emissions reductions in Scotland by setting an interim 42 per cent reduction target for 2020, with the power for this to be varied based on expert advice, and an 80 per cent reduction target for 2050. Part 2 of the Act contains provisions which will allow the Scottish Ministers to establish a Scottish Committee on Climate Change Part 3 places duties on the Scottish Ministers requiring that they report regularly to the Scottish Parliament on Scotland's emissions and on the progress being made towards meeting the emissions reduction targets Part 4 places climate change duties on Scottish public bodies. This Part also contains powers to enable the Scottish Ministers, by order, to impose further duties on public bodies in relation to climate change. Part 5 includes provisions on climate change including adaptation, forestry, energy efficiency and waste reduction. In regards to a Marine Litter Strategy, the act as several important provisions. S. 44 places a duty on public bodies to contribute and report on actions to the delivery of the emission reductions targets Part 1 of this Act. As a result, public bodies who are involved in marine litter management may report on resource efficiency initiatives that reduce emissions and reduce litter loads. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 gives the Scottish Ministers powers, through regulations, to introduce new obligations for matters relating to waste (Part 5, chapter 5.) The purpose of taking these powers was to reduce the impact that waste management and misuse of resources have on climate change. S.78 details the provision of waste management plans and s.79 specifies that Minister may, by regulation, require persons to report waste management data to SEPA. Improved management and coordination of facilities for recycled waste are required under s.80 and 81. The intent of Ministers to promote and enact regulations to increase recycling (s.82), reduce packaging (s.83), implementing deposit schemes (s.84-87) and introducing carrier bag charges (s.88). While these actions will be implemented via secondary legislation and amendments of existing waste legislation (see above) it will be important to consider these drivers in the context of a Marine Litter Management Strategy.

8.1 Key themes emerging from the evaluation of marine litter legislation

8.1.1 Coverage

Figure 8-1 identifies a number of instruments that apply to the management of marine litter across sources. At a minimum, 3 international conventions, 6 EU Directives, and 21 UK and Scottish legislative and statutory instruments directly influence marine litter management. Not every legislative, statutory or policy instrument was captured analysis as many secondary (minor) instruments relate to implementation. The overall conclusion from the assessment is that a substantial network of regulatory tools exists to address the management problem, and further major legislative reform is considered unnecessary. While it is an accepted requirement to introduce further minor statutory instruments to enable powers or refine regulatory instruments, the key challenge for a Marine Litter Strategy will be to utilise the existing network to ensure effective outcomes. These include meeting a range of policy objectives across the land and the sea interface including OSPAR criteria, GES and Descriptor 10 of the MSFD, GES under the WFD, excellent and good status of bathing waters, the strategic objectives and actions of the Zero Waste Plan, the waste management requirements of the Climate Change Act and meeting the 'sustainable development and protection and enhancement of the health of the Scottish marine area'.

8.1.2 Jurisdiction

A Scottish Marine Litter Strategy should account for jurisdictional influences within the legislation using the principle of subsidiarity, whereby decisions are taken at the lowest possible administrative and political level. In this situation, action would be taken at a higher level only where there are clear benefits or basis. The analysis highlights that many objectives and outcomes can be achieved within Scottish jurisdiction, as management of waste and litter is predominantly a devolved activity. When it comes to the maritime sector most activities relating to marine litter are devolved or executively devolved. However, several legislative instruments and management regimes remain in the area of UK competence, and will require cooperation and integration of policy and management initiatives as well as coordination of the regulating authorities and organisations. For example, while ports are a devolved activity, shipping and oil and gas are regulated in a UK context. Monitoring and enforcement of shipping activity in the context of MARPOL Annex V under The Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage and Garbage from Ships) Regulations 2008 is undertaken by the Marine Coastguard Agency and the provision and incentives for ships to deposit waste in Ports requires policy coordination between Scottish and UK authorities. In addition, the effectiveness of the MARPOL and the EU Directive on Port Reception Facilities for Ship Waste relies on information exchange and monitoring between ports in different jurisdictions. OSPAR identified in the 2010 Quality Status Report that too little information exists on the contribution of shipping to marine litter and waste and that further monitoring and performance assessment is required.

8.1.3 Integration

Integration means 'joining the dots across legislation and policy instruments'. When we consider the land and coastal system as an integrated whole, there are several connections to consider when addressing the problem of marine litter. The most obvious is the accumulation of litter from terrestrial and marine sources at the coastal interface, which can be considered a sink for litter. From this sink (and if it is not captured) marine litter can deteriorate into the unknown and potentially harmful state of micro-plastics and is beyond the authorities ability to remediate. Therefore, when addressing the marine litter problem, a marine litter strategy should be thinking with a systems approach addressing not only the sink (or the symptom) and cleaning up litter, but addressing the sources of litter from terrestrial and marine sectors and making progress against the root causes of the problem. While this appears common-sense, it is questionable that the legislative and policy system is currently suitably integrated to address the marine litter problem. Integration also must be considered across scales from the Scottish to the European, both in terms of the effectiveness of individual instruments such as the Marine (Scotland) Act or the Zero Waste Policy and in terms of how these instruments aggregate upwards and influence initiatives at the UK and EU levels. One area to consider is under the MSFD, States are required to cooperate on a regional sea basis to ensure Good Environmental Status. Therefore raising the problem and further addressing the issue of marine litter in forums such as OSPAR will progress integration at a regional sea scale. Note that OSPAR is proposing amendments to monitoring, stating the members should extend its marine litter monitoring on beaches in all regions and consider including marine litter in the Coordinated Environmental Monitoring Program, with inclusion of monitoring of the water column and the seabed.

The above highlights many instruments that can and should be used to effect upon the problem from the terrestrial, coastal and marine sphere. The proposed Strategy is an opportunity to provide a roadmap and integration of a range of statutory and non-statutory instruments that can be used on the marine litter problem. An important principle when constructing the strategy is to consider duplication of effort under a variety of instruments, and to ensure the most efficient regulatory path is taken to address the problem. In particular we observe the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 and the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 as key overarching mechanisms to deliver a Marine Litter Strategy, supported by some aspects of the Zero Waste Plan.

8.1.4 Effectiveness

Legislative and regulatory rationalisation may be necessary to reduce marine litter, though due to its nature, time lags will be associated with any new or altered legislation, policy or Strategy before the impact of that is seen. However, this assessment notes that the key issue for progress is raising awareness and changing behaviours in individuals, communities and businesses; promoting a culture change of 'waste as resource'; developing novel and innovative market based approaches; and implementing a supportive, efficient and effective regulatory system. A Marine Litter Strategy should endeavour to capture and integrate these elements, with the acknowledgement that creating the framework is the first step in the policy cycle, and on its own will do little to reduce the actual problem. In the Marine Litter Workshop held at the Macaulay land Use Research Institute, Aberdeen in February 2011 consistent issues over enforcement, compliance, and culture change were raised by the expert panel across the various domains of regulatory instruments from ports to individual actions. This infers that while the strategy should clearly articulate objectives and actions that relate to monitoring, effectiveness and compliance, it should also address changes in behaviour and the provision of resources to undertake action programs and expand successful initiatives. Referring to integration above, many of these actions will come under the Zero Waste Plan and duplication should be avoided.


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