Every year, millions of tonnes of marine litter, from sources in land but also at sea, end up in the ocean worldwide, causing massive environmental, economic and health problems.
Marine litter causes serious damage for coastal communities, tourism, shipping and fishing. From an environmental perspective, marine litter may be one of the fastest growing threats to the health of the world’s oceans.
It is therefore a key priority to raise awareness and stimulate behaviour change among the wider public and key stakeholders in the private and public sector.
While EU policies (e.g. Plastic Bags, Single Use Plastics) are important in the fight against plastic pollution, much more effort is needed to make people and organisations aware of marine pollution and their own responsibility in preventing such pollution.
HOW MIGHT WE (HMW) Questions
Substantial additional efforts are required to meet the following challenges:
►HMW accelerate the usage of litter removal technologies by ports, local water authorities and coastal communities?
►HMW increase citizens’ access to and involvement in marine litter data collection by providing them with better and easier-to-use tools and methods?
► HMW support industries in designing more recyclable, reusable, and repairable products?
► HWM raise citizens’ awareness on cost efficient – low maintenance, easily set up tools, aiming to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up into the rivers and seas, at its source?
► HWM help the industry transition towards less plastic production, by developing the use of alternative materials and encouraging local initiatives on reducing plastic consumption (ex: single use plastic directive)?
More information on the first Hack4Oceans is also available.