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Marine litter and plastic pollution in the ocean is affecting ecosystems, economies and societies around the world. For several years, GRID-Arendal has informed about the negative effects of plastic pollution and importance of global solutions to solve the challenge.


In 2016, we launched the UNEP & GRID-Arendal report Marine Litter Vital Graphics. The report highlighted the scientific evidence of marine litter impacts on ecosystems. With an increasing focus on marine litter for the last years, the report has played an important role to effectively communicate the knowledge we have on the issue. Since the release of the report, GRID-Arendal has been engaged in various aspects of marine litter, from technical solutions for beach clean-ups to international policy development.


Plastic litter is found everywhere in the world, and we currently do not have the global governance framework to stop it. GRID-Arendal is therefore researching and providing scientific evidence to support international policy development and capacity building to strengthen global action. Through our work, we provide information documents, reports and guidance to international processes and meetings. Additionally, we work closely with UN Environment and Regional Seas Conventions to support countries to identify sources and pathways of plastic pollution. This will improve the effort to combat marine litter on a regional level.


By using Geographic Information System (GIS) we have developed models to predict where marine litter ends up on shores. The model will make it easier for organizations and institutions to understand where marine litter is most abounded.


GRID-Arendal, in partnership with UN Environment and other partners, also develops a range of science-based communication products to show the state and impacts of marine litter and plastic pollution. The products, which include marines outlook reports and scientific papers, are meant to add to the body of knowledge on marine litter and plastic waste.

Tags: Marine environment Marine ecosystems Marine Debris Plastic Pollution Marine Plastic sea ocean Marine Litter

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GRID-Arendal's activities are nearly always a cooperative undertaking made possible through collaboration with our various partners, and donors.

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