Marine Debris – CMS and ASCOBANS Point out Some Local Solutions to a Global Problem


Bonn, 8 December 2015 – Marine debris – litter in our oceans – is a serious threat to wildlife making use of the oceans and beaches. Many animals, including marine mammals, turtles, birds and sharks get entangled in lost or discarded nets and lines or mistakenly ingest plastic bags and pieces of colourful plastic. Much suffering and death are the result.

Policy-makers work at many levels in order to understand and address the problem, trying to improve waste management systems, financing research, raising awareness and enforcing national and international regulations (see CMS Resolution 11.30 on Management of Marine Debris).

But what can YOU do? The good news is, each individual can be part of the solution:

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle –limit the use of plastics e.g. by using cotton shopping bags, and disposing of plastic sustainably
  • Cut the loop – cut open any loops before throwing away rubber bands and six-pack-rings for instance
  • Tidy up – join clean-up activities in your area, whether at beaches or along rivers
  • Spread the word - inform others about this problem and how they can help

The CMS/ASCOBANS leaflet “Oceans Full of Plastic” is now available in four languages: English, French, German and Spanish.

Last updated on 08 December 2015

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Solid waste