Action Plan for Marine Litter

OSPAR’s marine litter objective is “to substantially reduce marine litter in the OSPAR Maritime Area to levels where properties and quantities do not cause harm to the marine environment”. The North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy (2010 – 2020) commits to “develop appropriate programmes and measures to reduce amounts of litter in the marine environment and to stop litter entering the marine environment, both from sea-based and land-based sources”.

To fulfil this objective OSPAR 2014 agreed a Regional Action Plan (RAP) for Marine Litter for the period 2014-2021. The RAP contains 23 national actions and 32 collective actions which aim to address both land based and sea based sources, as well as education and outreach and removal actions. Each of the actions is driven by specific Contracting Parties or groups of Contracting Parties, and progress on actions is assessed each year at the meeting of the Intersessional Correspondence Group on Marine Litter (ICG-ML).

The current RAP ML was agreed by OSPAR for implementation between 2014 and 2021, therefore as we approach the end date of 2021, OSPAR will enter into a period of review and reflection. The implementation and effectiveness of the RAP will be reviewed up until spring 2021, after which OSPAR will work on the development of a new or updated RAP.

To find out more about the areas being covered by the marine litter RAP click the sections below. For some actions, work is still ongoing, apart from those cases where it is clearly stated that the action is considered complete.