Curated Session: Marine Litter

Plastic Waste and Marine Litter — Minimizing Our Footprint

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
9:00 – 10:00
Convention Center

Moderator: Andreas Merkel, CEO, The Ocean Conservancy

It has been estimated in 2014 that more than five trillion particles of plastic were afloat in the ocean, weighing more than 250,000 tonnes. Plastic is now omnipresent in the ocean, and if we do nothing, there might be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. Plastics and other persistent organic pollutants have been found in large quantities 10km deep down the Marianas trench. Marine litter, which is mainly composed of plastic, is a major environmental and public health problem that needs to be addressed now. How can we minimize our footprint?

This session will address the following questions:

  • How can we generalize a behavioral change toward the end of marine dumping?
  • How can the waste pickers be fairly included in the process of cleaning the marine environment?
  • In which ways can international cooperation contribute to the management of plastics in SIDS?
  • What knowledge could be gathered to make current efforts more efficient?
  • How can we prevent poisoning of local fishing communities?


Keith Alverson, United Nations Environment Programme

Keith Alverson

Bio forthcoming.