Tackling Marine Debris

Plastic waste is one of the biggest threats to the world’s oceans. Global plastic production reached more than 300 million tonnes in 2014. Much of that plastic has ended up in the oceans, where it harms wildlife, damages marine ecosystems and causes adverse impacts to human health. Due to UN Environment’s work, the issue has garnered much international attention and marine litter has been identified as a major global challenge.

UN Environment’s efforts also continue to stimulate regional, national and local initiatives to reduce marine litter around the globe. The Global Partnership on Marine Litter brings together governments, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to find solutions for marine debris. The Partnership seeks to enhance international cooperation to reduce the impact of marine litter on economies, ecosystems, animal welfare and human health worldwide.

In North America, UN Environment works with partners to address marine litter by raising awareness of the issue and developing activities to share best practices to prevent marine litter at the source. The "Two Minutes on Oceans with Jim Toomey" video series provides important information about urgent issues facing our oceans today, as well as recommended actions to address them, using animation and humor to illustrate the messages.