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Global Initiatives on Marine Litter



G7 Action Plan to Combat Marine litter

Acknowledging that marine litter, in particular plastic litter, poses a global challenge, directly affecting marine and coastal life and ecosystems and potentially also human health, the leaders of the G7 at the annual Summit in Elmau, Germany in June 2015 committed to priority actions and solutions to combat marine litter, stressing the need to address land- and sea-based sources, removal actions, as well as education, research and outreach.  Please find details in the Leaders’ Declaration and its Annex.

Waste Free Oceans

Waste Free Oceans (WFO) is a European-wide industry-led initiative with the aim of reducing the amount of marine debris by 2020. Using existing fishing trawls and new technologies, WFO will engage fishing community in cleaning up floating marine debris and bring it back to land for recycling and sorting. The time has come for industry to act together in tackling this growing problem and ensuring the health and purity of Europe’s coastal waters.

Ocean Conservancy

598,676 volunteers joined the 2011 Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup and have picked up 9,184,428 pounds of marine litter along 20,776 miles of the world’s shorelines. Items range from cigarette butts, food wrappers, to even the proverbial kitchen sink. The Ocean Trash Index provides snapshot of what’s out there, and helps inform lasting solutions. More information is available at

Clean Up the World

Clean Up the World is a global campaign that inspires communities to clean up, fix up and conserve the environment. Held in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme, it mobilizes an estimated 35 million people across 130 countries each year. NOWPAP joined Clean Up the World since 2009.

Every 5th of June is a day designated by the United Nations to stimulate worldwide awareness of environmental issues and encourages political action. Learn more and be inspired by activities being undertaken by Clean Up the World Members to celebrate the day.  

The 5 Gyres Institute

There are five major gyres in the world’s oceans and the accumulation of marine debris in the North Pacific gyre is well documented. “The 5 Gyres Institute” is determined to search the remaining four for evidence of similar plastic debris accumulation. With a mission to conduct research and communicate about the global impacts of plastic pollution in the world’s ocean, they will be embarking on a new expedition soon to the debris field from the devastating tsunami that hit Japan last year.

Global Partnership on Waste Management and Global Partnership on Marine Litter:

The Global Partnership on Waste Management (GPWM) was launched in November 2010 to enhance international cooperation among stakeholders, identify and fill information gaps, share information and strengthen awareness, political will, and capacity to promote resource conservation and resource efficiency. Marine litter is one of the six focal areas under the GPWM.

Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) – joint initiative of UNEP and US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – was launched in June 2012, at the Rio+20 Conference. Please find more on this link. The Northwest Pacific Region Environment Cooperation Center (NPEC) and NOWPAP Regional Coordinating Unit (RCU) maintain the NW Pacific regional node of the GPML.