Marine litter strategy

This refreshed marine litter strategy outlines new priority actions to tackle marine litter in Scotland, building on the work already conducted through the original strategy.

Annex D: Strategic Environmental Assessment Determination and Statement of Reasons Relating to the Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland

Consultation Authorities

Historic Environment Scotland


Scottish Environment Protection Agency

Responsible Authority

Marine Scotland, Scottish Government


Further to the responses received from the Consultation Authorities regarding the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) screening for the refreshed Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland, a determination has now been made by the Responsible Authority. After consideration, Marine Scotland has determined that an SEA is not required for the refreshed Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland.

Statement of Reasons

The strategy is an update of the original Marine Litter Strategy for Scotland, and the intention is to continue with the current approach of a centralised strategy encompassing the many and varied initiatives related to reducing and preventing marine litter. Within the updated strategy, the aims and purpose of the work remain the same, and as such the text within the strategy remains largely unchanged. This will be a refreshed version of the current strategy, to reflect the need for new actions to be undertaken. These new actions are intended to: build on work already completed and move forward where possible; take up opportunities provided by new or updated legislation; encourage business interest or opportunities from new technologies; and continue to work with UK Government, Devolved Administrations, OSPAR (Oslo-Paris Convention), and international organisations as required in order to further our work in Scotland and on the regional stage.

The intention of the strategy is to develop current and future measures that will: prevent litter entering the marine environment, in parallel with litter reduction and behaviour change actions to be achieved by the national litter and fly-tipping strategy; continue to support and raise awareness of actions to remove marine litter; and contribute to the overall aim of achieving Good Environmental Status as required by the UK Marine Strategy. This will be achieved through support for existing actions which are currently contributing to our goals; and identifying new measurable and achievable actions which can be completed within a realistic timescale and within the shared resource of delivery partners.

The strategy builds on the huge amount of valuable work already underway at the local, national, regional, and international level, bringing it together to add greater co-ordination of efforts. As such, much of the substance of the strategy has already undergone separate environmental assessments for each of the individual components.

Within the strategy there are five strategic directions (overarching objectives). Under each strategic direction comes a small number of specific and measurable actions. An associated action plan, containing these new actions, will be appended to the strategy. These actions will either require their own SEA to be conducted, or have already had appropriate impact assessments conducted. All other aspects of the current strategy have been duplicated from the original strategy, and as such have already been assessed and included in the SEA that was conducted in relation to the original strategy in 2014.

In summary, the overarching purpose of reducing marine litter is to protect our marine environment. It is known that the volume of litter in our seas is vast, and is continually being added to. Our work to reduce sources of marine litter and to support removal initiatives is important. However, most of these objectives have not changed since the original strategy was produced, and as such have already undergone an SEA. Those that are new are likely to have their own SEA requirements or have already undergone an impact assessment. Therefore Marine Scotland does not believe there are any significant environmental effects beyond those already identified in the original assessment or that will have their own SEA requirements as they are taken forward. An SEA is therefore not required.



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