The OSPAR objective for marine litter is "to substantially reduce marine litter in the OSPAR maritime area to levels where properties and quantities do not harm the marine environment" by 2020.

In order to fulfill this objective, the OSPAR Commission approved in 2014 (meeting held in Cascais) a Regional Action Plan (RAP) for the Lixo Marinho for the period 2014-2021. The RAP contains 55 collective and national actions that focus on land-based and sea-based sources, as well as education and dissemination and marine waste removal actions.

The main areas of action addressed in the RAP include:
  • Port reception facilities
  • Waste from the fishing industry
  • Penalties for throwing garbage into the sea
  • 'Fishing for litter' (fishing vessels collect marine litter) 
  • Fishing gear lost and abandoned at sea
  • Floating garbage hotspots
  • Education and dissemination
  • Better waste management
  • Drainage of sewage and rainwater
  • Reduction of single-use items
  • Microplastics removal / objective zero pellet losses
  • Redesign of harmful products.
DGRM actively participates in several actions in the action plan for marine litter, and in particular leads actions 49 and 55:
  • Action 49, relating to the presence and impact in the marine environment of expanded polystyrene and the involvement of Industry in the development of solutions to reduce its impacts.

         The Interreg OceanWise project, led by DGRM, intends to respond to this RAP action.

  • Action 55, for the development of regional and subregional maps of hotspots for the accumulation of floating marine waste
         The CleanAtlantic project, in which DGRM is a partner, includes work areas aimed at responding to this RAP action.

Get to know the OSPAR Action Plan for marine litter here.