In 2010, between 4.8 and12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste was discharged by the earth’s coastalpopulation into the marine environment (Velis, C., Lerpiniere, D. and Tsakona,M. 2017).
Marine waste and litter has been a major problem that was not givenmuch attention up until dumps of accumulated waste, which ends up in the marineenvironment, caught the attention of researchers and the public. The UNEP global initiativeon Litter and the ISWA Marine task force, are two initiatives with the solegoal to better understand marine litter and reduce the volume of waste thatends up in different water bodies. Both initiatives are quite recent, thusthere are still many gaps in our understanding of the origins, pathways,conversions and outcome of marine litter.Marine litter is defined as”any continual, assembled or manufactured solid perceptible material dumped,discarded or deserted in different water bodies and coastal habitats” (UNEP2009). Not to be confused with marine pollution, which is a more generic termused to describe anything harmful to the oceans, seas and rivers. Just from theprovided definition, marine litter can already be directly linked to the 14thSustainable Development Goal, developed by the United Nations, and solid wastemanagement (refer to figure 1).
Many different types of wasteactivities form marine litter, with the main material at focus being plastic(with all its different typologies). Along with that, there are multiplemethods this plastic waste ends up in different marine bodies, from ship andboat disposed waste to waste dumps on coasts. The scope of this project is toconsider how the simple act of littering in our day to day life finds a way toreach and harm different water bodies.
The Marine Conservation Society, whichwas setup to inform the British public and government of the dangers marinelitter and pollution are having on wildlife at the sea, discovered that thesource of around 37.7% of litter collected, from a sample of waste collectedfrom the sea, was produced by land-based citizens’ normal act of littering (KTownend W,2010).The previous paragraphs indicate the type ofresearch going on in this field of study. It generally includes data collectionand analysis.
When trying to resolve an issue were the main problem is directlyassociated with the general public, you must be able to communicate yourfindings in a less scientific manner. Educational posters, that are visually friendlyand catchy, play a vital role in sending a strong message to the public. Thiscan often lead to an increase in public engagement, which is crucial tomitigation of marine litter.Thisproject starts by considering how the simple act of carelessly discardinglitter rather than disposing of it in a rubbish bin, plays a major role indamaging the marine environment.
The act of littering is directly connected topoor management and collection of waste, especially in developing countries. The act of litteringproduces micro plastics, which end up in a vast majority of marine organismsand eventually back to humans through consumption of different seafood