Coalition of Coastal Cities to Combat Marine Litter

May 31, 2024

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) secretariat for the Barcelona Convention, marine litter is defined as “any persistent, manufactured, or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned, regardless of its size that enters the marine and coastal environment”1 .

This includes items deliberately discarded or unintentionally lost at sea or along the coastline. Common examples prevalent in the Indian marine ecosystem are plastics, wood, metals, glass, rubber, clothing, paper, including religious material2. It is important to note that the UNEP definition excludes semi-solid remains such as mineral and vegetable oils, paraffin, and chemicals occasionally found in the sea and on shores, thus differentiating marine litter from marine pollution.

Marine litter is a global threat, particularly in countries with a long coastline. It has been established that plastics comprise 85 per cent of all marine debris from surface waters to deep-sea sediments3.


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