Publication - Strategy/plan

Marine litter strategy for Scotland

Published: 19 Aug 2014
Marine Scotland Directorate
Part of:
Marine and fisheries

A strategy to develop measures to minimise the amount of litter entering the marine and coastal environment.

Marine litter strategy for Scotland
Executive Summary

Executive Summary

The marine litter strategy has a clear purpose: to develop current and future measures to ensure that the amount of litter entering the marine and coastal environment is minimised to bring ecological, economic and social benefits.

The aim of the strategy is to help realise the vision of "clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse marine and coastal environment that meets the long term needs of people and nature". This underpins developments in marine legislation through the Marine (Scotland) Act 2010 in promoting sustainable use of our valuable and unique environment.

The development and implementation of the strategy will be led by Marine Scotland, in taking the strategy forward. It is recognised that responsibility for delivery is shared across local and national government, business, environmental and community groups, and private individuals.

The strategy builds on work and initiatives already underway, involving individuals, organisations, groups and communities in caring for their marine and coastal environment. Bringing it together to add clear leadership, greater coordination of efforts and fresh momentum.

Shaped by research and public consultation, the marine litter strategy seeks to maximise opportunities and minimise threats in addressing the levels of litter present, and recognises that the Marine Strategy Framework Directive is a key driver.

With these key issues paramount, the marine litter strategy sets out five strategic directions and a range of measures to help deliver the strategy:

Strategic Direction 1 - Improve public and business attitudes and behaviours around marine and coastal litter, in co-ordination with the national litter strategy.

Action will include:

Reviewing and working with stakeholders to identify action to address gaps in education and awareness raising.

Focus on how design can reduce litter from products that frequently appear in the marine and coastal environment.

Strategic Direction 2 - Reduce marine and coastal based sources of litter, in co-ordination with land sourced litter being reduced by the national litter strategy.

Action will include:

Co-operation and co-ordination of activity with partners to address marine litter at source.

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.

Action will include:

Explore, with partners, how to recycle more material from marine litter.

Strategic Direction 4 - Improve monitoring at a Scottish scale and develop measures for strategy evaluation.

Action will include:

Efforts to improve monitoring of the scale of the marine litter problem and impact of the strategy on outcomes.

Strategic Direction 5 - Maintain and strengthen stakeholder co-ordination at the UK, EU and international scales.

Action will include:

Efforts to engage with, and share best practice with UK, EU and international audiences.

Some of the commitments outlined in the marine litter strategy will take early effect, others will take longer to bring about, but all will contribute to the outcomes we want for Scotland. We will measure our progress throughout, adjusting our actions wherever necessary so that we can be confident we are making a positive difference through the strategy.