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Reducing Marine Litter from Sea-Based Sources

It is essential that ships and fishing vessels bring their operational waste and gear back to land instead of dumping it illegally into the sea, where it affects the marine environment. 

Improved waste management regulations and services in ports, for example port reception facilities and transparent cost recovery structures, as well as information and training of staff and ships can make a difference to reduce marine litter from such sea-based sources. 

The fishing communities also play a significant role: Often, fishers catch plastic waste while working at the sea. So called Fishing for Litter approaches encourage the fishing communities to collect and discharge this waste on land instead of in the ocean. This works through incentives, connection to recyclers and providing information on marine protection. ‘Rethinking Plastics’ cooperates with various partners on identifying good practices and finding new solutions for Fishing for Litter as well as for Port Waste Management and draws upon European experiences. 

Click to access our infographic


Plastics make up 85% of beach litter;
single use items represent 61%
and fishing related items 20% of these plastic items.

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Thailand 15 Sep 2022

Bangkok Port: New Online System for Better Ship Waste Management

Bangkok, 1 September 2022 - Waste dumping into the oceans, How can we stop? Thailand is amongst the countries with the biggest amount of plastic waste leakage into the oceans worldwide. While most marine litter comes from land, marine activities such as increasing ship traffic also contribute to the increasing amounts of litter in the ocean for example through illegal dumping. In the past two years, the Port Authority of Thailand and the project “Rethinking Plastics – Circular Economy Solutions to Marine Litter” project, funded by the European Union and the German Government and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Expertise France, took steps forward to implement solutions against illegal ship waste discharge by improving the ship waste management system at Bangkok Port. The pilot activity implementation in Bangkok Port also included Chula Unisearch, Energy Research Institute of Chulalongkorn University, Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI) and 1st Biz Solution company limited.

Together, the partners assessed waste management regulations and services in the port and designed and implemented an online Ship Waste Notification and Management System (WNMS). It requires ships to notify the amounts of waste transported by the ship calling the port before arrival, facilitating waste handling and inspection procedures at the port and also improving waste data collection under supervision of the port. On 1st September, the partners publicly presented the new online system and other results during the Closing Ceremony of their joint activities at Sala Thai Ballroom, 5th Floor, Bangkok Marriott Marquis Queen's Park and Bangkok Port. The event gathered more than 60 participants from respective sectors, interested in solutions for a better Ship Waste Management.