OSPAR's Second OSPAR Regional Action Plan (RAP ML 2) sets out the policy context for OSPAR’s work to address marine litter within the North-East Atlantic and directly contributes to delivering the marine litter objectives of the North-East Atlantic Environment Strategy 2030. The RAP ML 2 describes priority thematic areas and defines key actions where the OSPAR Commission can best contribute to tackling this ubiquitous challenge.

You can read the full text of the RAP ML 2 here

Action overview table

Follow the hyperlinks in the table for more information on each of the actions

Action Number

Action Title

Lead & Support

Completion status

Theme A: Actions to reduce land-based sources of marine litter

Sub theme: Waste prevention and management


Prevent and reduce plastic waste by coastal municipalities and cities


In progress

Sub theme: Wastewater and stormwater management


Prevent the release of bio-carriers to the marine and riverine environment

Sweden and France

Support from Surfrider

In progress


Reduce macro litter losses in wastewater treatment systems


Start pending

Sub theme: Riverine input of marine litter


Monitor, prevent and reduce riverine inputs of macro litter to the marine environment and share knowledge on micro litter monitoring

France, Belgium, Netherlands

Support from Germany and KIMO

In progress

Sub theme: Actions to reduce the impacts of specific plastic products and plastic packaging


Define measures and strategies for the phasing out or restriction of use of single use plastics prone to become marine litter in complement to the EU SUP Directive

France and Seas at Risk

Support from Denmark and Netherlands

Start pending


Reduce the impact of expanded polystyrene and extruded polystyrene (EPS / XPS) in the marine environment – development of OSPAR products


Support from Denmark

In progress

Sub theme: Land-based sources of microplastics


Prevent inputs of microplastics from selected land-based sources in the marine environment


Support from Netherlands and Seas At Risk

Start pending


Reduce microplastic contamination from artificial grass

KIMO and United Kingdom

Support from Norway and Sweden

In progress

Theme B: Actions to reduce sea-based sources of marine litter

Sub theme: Commercial shipping


Harmonise practises related to the provision and use of Port Reception Facilities


Support from Netherlands, Portugal and KIMO

In progress


Reduce microplastics from ship greywater discharges

Lead tbc

SAR can support

Action pending approval

Sub theme: Recreational boating


Manage end-of-life recreational vessels

United Kingdom

Support from Belgium and Sweden

In progress

Sub theme: Microplastics – Sea-based sources


Identify the need for measures to reduce the unintentional release of microplastics resulting from paint, anti-fouling paint and other marine coatings used by [commercial] marine vessels

Lead tbc

Action pending approval

Sub theme: Commercial Fishing, Recreational Fishing and Aquaculture


Prevent, locate, retrieve and handle abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear (ALDFG)

Sweden as task manager for the part on the Gap analysis on the application of the FAO guideline

Support from Germany, Spain and ACOPS

In progress


Stimulate circular design and developments in waste management of fishing and aquaculture gear

Netherlands and UK

Support from Denmark

In progress


Promote practical solutions for reducing the impact of certain specific fishing related items, such as net cuttings and dolly rope

Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and KIMO

Support from Seas at Risk

In progress


Address recreational fishing as a source for marine litter


Support from Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Sweden

Start pending


Raise awareness and improve education in the fishing sector, including the strengthening of the OSPAR recommendations on Fishing for litter and on Sustainability Education Programmes for Fishers


Support from KIMO

Start pending


To identify and understand the main sources of entanglement of sea turtles in the Eastern Atlantic and to develop adequate management measures


In progress


Prevent and reduce marine litter from aquaculture

United Kingdom

Support from Norway and Sweden

In progress

Sub theme: Litter from offshore industry and activities


Plastic materials in the marine environment

United Kingdom through Offshore Industry Committee (OIC)

In progress


Plastic substances contained in offshore chemicals

United Kingdom through Offshore Industry Committee (OIC)

In progress

Theme C: Cross cutting actions

Sub theme: Cross cutting land and sea based issues


Prevent microplastic pollution resulting from plastic pellet, powder and flake loss

Netherlands and United Kingdom

With support from Denmark, France, Germany, KIMO and Seas at Risk

In progress

Sub theme: Increasing knowledge and understanding of the marine litter problem


Understand the location of litter accumulations

Portugal and Spain

With support from the CleanAtlantic project

In progress

Sub theme: Evidence on harm caused by litter to marine species and habitats


Improve evidence base on harm in relation to marine litter



Sub theme: Increasing integration and connectivity between monitoring, indicators and RAP ML 2 actions


Bridge the gap between monitoring and policy

United Kingdom

Support from Denmark, Ireland, Norway and marine litter monitoring expert group leads

In progress