MCS informs research project to tackle marine litter in Wales

Erin O'Neill By: Erin O'Neill
Date posted: 4 March 2020

The first stage of the Clean Seas Wales Partnership’s action plan to tackle marine litter has been completed. MCS, Keep Wales Tidy and environmental consultants, Eunomia, have worked to drive forward research, which will form the evidence base for the next stages of this vital work.

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© Ingrid Taylar

In 2018 the Clean Seas Wales Partnership, made up of representatives from Welsh Government, the fishing industry and port and harbour authorities launched the Marine Litter Action Plan (MLAP) to tackle marine litter in Wales.

The project received funding of £50,000 through the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, which is funded by the European Union and the Welsh Government.

MCS, Keep Wales Tidy and Eunomia have been working on gaining a better understanding of the pathways, sources and types of litter in the environment, as well as the challenges of tackling them at a local level.

The project adopted a coordinated approach to tackling marine litter by working with marine litter action groups, local authorities and higher education institutions. It is hoped the project will also encourage further research into marine litter.

Project members had discussions with every local authority in Wales on interventions, strategies, cleansing regimes and communication. Litter Strategy Workshops ran in three different regions in Wales with individuals from local authorities, public bodies and community litter groups working together to look at best practice and how to learn and adopt this in other areas to decrease litter.

Data from MCS’s Beachwatch beach cleaning and survey programme has been used to inform strategies along the way.

Now, with the first phase of the project complete, enough evidence has been gathered to inform the future direction of the Marine Litter Action Plan.

This year the project aims to work with tourism businesses and coastal attractions. There is also going to be a focus on schools, with a view to developing an education programme on the impacts of marine litter.

You can read the full report from the first phase of the project here.

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