Marine Litter

Marine litter is widespread and poses a threat to wildlife in and around the sea, and may also pose a risk to human health. Marine litter has recently gained significant attention and there is now a consensus for action. However, that requires more knowledge and a thorough understanding of this increasing global problem.

SALT maps quantities and transport of marine litter, and we identify sources and causes to litter ending up in nature. The knowledge we build is then transfered into concrete preventative measures or communicated to decisionmakers. We want to contribute to an efficient and knowledge-based monitoring of marine litter, and to be able to track changes over time. SALT also plays an important role in the development of new value chains for marine litter or plastic waste from maritime industries. Last, but not least, SALT is a key player in organising profsessional beach clean-ups in Norway.

Foto: Espen Mortensen

SALT has developed scientific methods for mapping marine litter. With this we provide advice to public and private sector stakeholders and we are involved in international processes to develop and standardize measurement methods.

Professional clean-up

The network of clean-up professionals in Norway is growing rapidly. This requires thorough assessment of the efforts made in order to remove litter, and careful consideration of the consequences for vegetation and wildlife. SALT administrates national clean-up programs, as well as initiating our own professional clean-up operations.

Solutions and measures

We work to identify sustainable waste management systems solutions and circular models for marine litter and plastic originating from maritime industries. This includes improving the waste management system the for the fishing fleet along the entire coast, and identifying solutions for collection, reuse and recycling of used fishing gear and aquaculture equipment. We also contribute to international research projects aiming to develop new biodegradable materials that can reduce the amount of plastic litter released in the sea and associated problems like ghost fishing.

Sources and causes

Prevention is the most important and cost-effective measure against marine litter. This requires in-depth understanding of where the litter comes from as well as pollution causes. Therefore SALT has developed comprehensive marine litter research methods, and we also study data collected by others. We are committed to provide this knowledge to authorities and other stakeholders currently contributing to the ever growing marine litter problem.




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