A new report on marine litter has highlighted a problem that not only ruins beaches and maims unsuspecting wildlife but costs governments and industry millions of Euros each year.

A new report on marine litter has highlighted a problem that not only ruins beaches and maims unsuspecting wildlife but costs governments and industry millions of Euros each year.

The report, titled “Economic Impacts of Marine Litter” and produced by KIMO International, finds that the cost of litter on coastal communities and marine industries has risen significantly in the last 10 years. In some instances the report shows that costs have risen as much as 83%, taking into account inflation, placing a totally unnecessary burden on those who live by or make their living from the sea.

Very few studies to date have explored the economic impact of marine litter as opposed to a considerable amount of research that has examined the impact of litter on beaches, marine wildlife and the build of litter across the world’s oceans.

Key findings of the research include:

• Local authorities in the UK spend approximately €18 million on average removing beach litter each year, which represents a 37.4% increase over the past 10 years
• Dutch Municipalities spend € 10.4 million on removing beach litter from tourist beaches
• Marine litter costs the Scottish fishing fleet between €11.7 million and €13 million on average each year, which is the equivalent of 5% of the total revenue of affected fisheries
• Spanish harbours spend on average €61,013 per harbour per year removing marine litter
• Over 70% of harbours and marinas reported that their users had experienced incidents involving marine litter
• In 2008, the RNLI carried out 286 rescues to vessels with propellers fouled by litter in UK waters at a cost of between €830,000 and €2,189,000

The research also highlights that while the economic impact of marine litter occurs at a local level, action to reduce it must be on an international scale.

 

For more information on Seas At Risk's marine litter work

Share This

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required