Plastics Industry Answers Call to Help Stop Marine Litter

June 2020

Marine litter is human-created waste that has been intentionally or unintentionally discharged into the coastal or marine environment. Its harmful effects have led governments, private enterprises, environmental groups and countless citizens to take action.

In 2011, 47 plastics associations from around the world signed the Declaration of Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter to consolidate and leverage existing marine litter prevention efforts as well as generate additional innovative solutions.

Solving plastics litter requires global collaboration and bold actions. We need strong partnerships between an interconnected plastics value chain and all stakeholders, at the local, national, and global level, to solve this problem and roll-out innovative, sustainable solutions.

Virginia Janssens

Managing Director, PlasticsEurope

The Global Declaration also agreed to track and report on its collective progress. This is an executive summary overview of the 5th Progress Report issued in June 2020.

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Projects Have Quadrupled Since 2011

As of early 2020, plastics associations launched, planned or completed 395 projects, from beach clean ups to awareness campaigns. This represents a 4x increase since the Global Declaration was announced. The projects include initiatives and solutions in six key areas:

Projects in each Work Area

  • Education 107% 107%
  • Recycling/Recovery 91% 91%
  • Public Policy 77% 77%
  • Best Practices 62% 62%
  • Research 40% 40%
  • Plastic Pellet Containment 31% 31%

Ending plastic waste in our ocean will require a more circular economy to keep plastics in productive use and out of our environment. It will require substantial improvements in recycling and waste infrastructure, changes in product design, and new business models to repurpose all sorts of used plastics.

Keith Christman

Managing Director of Plastic Markets for the American Chemistry Council

Making Global Progress on a Global Problem

Every year, the plastics industry builds on its commitment to reduce marine litter by adding new members, reaching more countries and increasing its global projects.

















Marine Litter Solutions Are Happening Worldwide

Humans cause marine litter – and humans have the power to stop it. This humble recognition has spurred people across the globe to fight the causes of marine litter. Every region around the globe demonstrates its dedication to preventing marine litter through innovative projects.

Projects per Region

  • The Americas 141% 141%
  • Europe including Turkey & Russia 117% 117%
  • Asia 85% 85%
  • Africa 26% 26%
  • Australia/New Zealand 13% 13%
  • Global 8% 8%
  • Arabian Gulf 7% 7%

The way forward is to work with all stakeholders from upstream manufacturers to downstream fabricators, brand owners, governments, NGOs, media, and consumers as a team through the circular economy to find more ways to end plastic waste.

Callum Chen

Secretary-General of the Asia Plastics Forum

Man in ocean picking up plastic in the sea

Download the Executive Summary Report


Review the Progress Report

MLS Joint Declaration

Read the Global Declaration


Meet the Declaration Members