IMO member states have called for more action to address marine litter in the oceans, particularly plastics and microplastics.
Parties to the London Convention and Protocol, meeting for their 38th/11th session in September expressed concern about litter and plastics in the marine environment.
The dumping of plastics from ships is banned under the garbage regulations of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution form Ships (MARPOL), and the London Convention and Protocol prohibit the disposal of plastics at sea.
A number of countries have taken action to reduce the use of plastics and to address the problem of microbeads and microplastics entering the marine environment. However, the states agreed further work is needed.
The recently published review of the current state of knowledge regarding marine litter in wastes dumped at sea under the London Convention and Protocol, for example, notes that it is very difficult to identify the sources of marine litter present in dredged material. The majority of permits for the dumping of waste at sea relate to dredged material.
The meeting adopted a new Strategic Plan for the London Convention and Protocol, which sets out the strategic directions and targets for the Contracting Parties out to 2030, coinciding with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The Strategic Plan aims to ensure that the London Convention and Protocol are, and will continue to be, proactive, progressing, and forward looking.
The plan also sets out the commitment ensure that a truly universal membership that can be achieved in the foreseeable future.
Credit: Maritime Executive