Plug the marine litter tap: a pilot study on potential marine litter sources in urban areas
Marine litter is a growing environmental problem, especially plastic material is accumulated in the seas where it will fragment to smaller pieces. Marine litter has severe consequences for the marine life, as well as for economy and social development. Marine litter is high on the political agenda, and legislations, amongst all the Marine Strategy Framework Directive's descriptor 10 for determining good environmental status, aims at preventing waste to become marine litter. The purpose of the pilot study presented in this report is to raise awareness amongst officials at municipalities and authorities about the need to reduce the presence of litter in the marine environment and to give ideas/suggestions on how this can be done. The project has therefore developed a “Plug the Marine Litter Tap”-approach, which together with local knowledge and experience, can be used to identify sources of marine debris by using existing statistics. Södertälje is used as a pilot area where we give examples on indicators for marine litter in the urban environment and proposed measures for each indicator. We hope that this will encourage municipalities to reflect on how preventive measures against marine litter can be incorporated in local waste management plans and become part of their regular routine.