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Marine Littering and Sources in Nordic Waters

image of Marine Littering and Sources in Nordic Waters

Marine litter is a global environmental problem that endangers wildlife and has great socio-economic and aesthetic impacts. To identify sources of marine litter is an important key in order to propose cost-effective measures. Pick analyses of beach litter have therefore been conducted in order to categorise litter items from a product perspective. The results confirm that plastic are the most common litter material found on beaches in the Nordic countries. Short life items and packaging are dominating, which is strongly linked to individual consumers. It is further concluded that the plastics and packaging industry has an important role to play to decrease the amount of marine litter.

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Introduction

Marine litter is a global environmental problem caused entirely by human activities. Litter is found not only all along the coasts but also far out into the open seas that should be unaffected by human influence. Marine litter is also one of the most apparent problems found in the marine environment. Even so, it is only around 15% of the marine litter that reaches the coastline. The remainder stays in the water column (15%) or on the seabed (70%).

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