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.

2. Overview Of The Strategy

Aim and Objectives

2.1 The aim of the strategy is to contribute to the achievement of Marine Scotland's vision for a clean, healthy, safe, productive, and biologically diverse marine and coastal environment that meets the long term needs of people and nature. This vision includes managing our seas sustainably to protect their rich biological diversity and to ensure that it is an ecosystem that continues to provide economic, social and wider benefits for people, industry and users of the marine environment.

2.2 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. We recognise that a large volume of this work, in particular marine litter removal, is undertaken voluntarily by individuals, local initiatives, community groups, and NGOs.


2.3 The vision for the strategy is to: reinforce support for existing actions which are currently contributing to our goals; and identify new measurable and achievable actions which can be completed within a realistic timescale. These actions are focused on: preventing litter entering the marine environment, in parallel with litter reduction and behaviour change actions to be achieved by the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy; continuing to support and raise awareness of actions to remove marine litter; and contributing to the overall aim of achieving GES as required by the UK Marine Strategy.

2.4 Our vision for this lifecycle of the strategy is: a Scotland where the issue of marine and coastal litter is acknowledged by all sectors, and measurable steps are taken to prevent marine litter as well as to support removal initiatives. This will be achieved in co-ordination with the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy, as well as through collaborative work with partners at all levels.

Strategic Directions

2.5 The vision links to five strategic directions and associated actions. The strategic directions are:

  • Strategic Direction 1 – Improve public and business attitudes and behaviours around marine and coastal litter, in co-ordination with the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy.
  • Strategic Direction 2 – Reduce marine and coastal based sources of litter, with a focus on the most problematic sources, in co-ordination with land sourced litter being reduced by the National Litter and Flytipping Strategy.
  • Strategic Direction 3 – Support the removal of marine litter from the marine and coastal environment.
  • Strategic Direction 4 – Improve monitoring at a Scottish scale and develop measures for strategy evaluation.
  • Strategic Direction 5 – Maintain and strengthen stakeholder co-ordination in Scotland, the UK, regionally, and globally.

2.6 An overview of actions are detailed within the strategic directions at Part 4. A more detailed action plan, with objectives, deliverables and measurable actions is included in the Supporting Documents. The actions have been planned as either short, medium, or long term within the six year lifespan of the strategy. The planned actions have been agreed within the context of available funding and capacity. The timescales have been allocated with regard to a realistic timeframe, depending on the complexity of the work required to complete the action.

2.7 It is acknowledged that many current initiatives and projects contribute to more than one strategic direction within the strategy. Any such projects that have been named in Part 3 have been placed under the strategic direction to which each project contributes the most.



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