US Marine Plastic Pollution Research and Control Act (MPPRCA)
The MPPRCA of 1987 is the national legislation of MARPOL Annex V (UNEP 2005). The Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC) established by this Act engages in a holistic approach to marine litter. The committee develops and recommends comprehensive and multi-disciplinary approaches to reduce the sources and adverse impacts of marine debris on the nation's marine and coastal environment, natural resources, human health, public safety and the economy. The committee consists of several stakeholder agencies,36 ensuring that these agencies increase their coordination to address marine debris (NOAA 2012).
US Marine Debris Program
The Marine Debris Program (MDP) is a national program to investigate and solve the problems that stem from marine debris, in order to protect and conserve the nation's marine environment, natural resources, industries, economy and people. It offers a holistic approach to marine litter and was established by the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act of 2006 (MDRPRA), which was amended by the Marine Debris Act Amendments in 2012. The MDP serves as a centralized capability within NOAA, supporting national and international programs to research, prevent, and reduce the impacts of marine debris, coordinating activities within NOAA and with other federal agencies, as well as using partnerships to support projects carried out by state and local agencies, tribes, NGOs, academia and industry. The MDP has sponsored numerous programs, including Fishing for Energy, international coastal cleanups, monitoring and assessment projects, and collaboration with UNEP to provide technical assistance to countries in the wider Caribbean region. Among them, the project of Fishing for Energy was launched in 2008 and provided fishers no‐cost disposal service for derelict fishing gear and recycled and converted it into renewable energy (Barry 2010).37 Until May 2014, >1.1 million kg of fishing gear were collected at rubbish bins placed in 41 communities across the country. This generated enough electricity to power 183 homes for one year (NFWF 2014).
US National Marine Debris Monitoring Program
The National Marine Debris Monitoring Program (NMDMP) was developed to standardize marine debris data collection in the US by using a scientifi valid protocol to determine marine debris status and trends. This program was conducted over a fi e-year period between 2001 and 2006. The results indicate that land-based sources of marine debris account for 49 % of the debris surveyed nationally, in comparison to 18 % from ocean-based and 33 % from general sources (Sheavly 2010).
US Legislations Relevant to Marine Litter
Other legislations of relevance to marine litter could have a significant impact on the amount of waste in the ocean. For example, the Shore Protection Act aims to minimize trash, medical debris, and other harmful material from being deposited into coastal waters as a result of inadequate waste handling procedures by vessels transporting waste. The Beaches Environmental Assessment and Coastal Health Act aims to reduce the risk of diseases to users of the coastal recreation waters.38
UK Legislations on Garbage from Ships and PRFs
In the UK, the national legislation of Annex V is the Merchant Shipping (Prevention of Pollution by Sewage and Garbage from Ships) Regulation 2008 and the Merchant Shipping and Fishing Vessels (Port Waste Reception Facilities) Regulations 2003 and amendments. The former contains provisions on garbage disposal restriction, garbage management plans and record books, inspection, detention and offences. The latter requires all ports, terminals, harbors and marinas to provide adequate reception facilities for waste and prepare a waste management plan.39
UK Beach Cleanup and Awareness Campaigns
Numerous cleanup and awareness campaigns have been carried out in the UK, including the Marine Conservation Society's 'Beachwatch' and 'Adopt a Beach' campaigns (MCS 2013; UNEP 2005), and the Forth Estuary Forum's Coastal Litter campaign (Storrier and McGlashan 2006).
Scotland Marine Litter Strategy and National Litter Strategy
The Scottish Government and Marine Scotland recently initiated a process to advance the Marine Litter Strategy and the National Litter Strategy to jointly manage litter in Scotland's terrestrial (including inland waters), coastal and marine environments. Both strategies were initiated in response to the MSFD, cover the period 2012–2020 and seek to prevent and/or reduce the incidence of litter through a combination of approaches: education and awareness, infrastructure and tools, and enforcement and deterrence (The Scottish Government 2013).
South Korea Initiatives on Marine Litter
Since 1999, South Korea has begun to develop comprehensive and fi strategies to address marine litter at the national level. Diverse initiatives were put forward, including: cleanup operations, recycling or environmentally friendly disposal of material collected, underwater marine debris removal programs, development of a practical integrated system of marine debris, river basin marine debris management systems, a fi gear buyback program, a national coastal monitoring and education system on marine debris, and relevant legal and institutional restructuring (Jung et al. 2010). In addition, South Korea introduced a gear-marking initiative in 2006, which helps to identify owners or users of the marked fi gear and thus contributes to preventing fi marine litter being abandoned (Macfadyen et al. 2009).
The practical integrated system started in 1999 and aimed to reduce marine litter through technological innovations in prevention, deep-water survey, removal, treatment and recycling. For example, a floating debris containment boom was developed to prevent floating debris from entering the coastal waters through rivers or channels. Deep-water survey equipment (termed “Tow-Sled”) was designed to examine benthic deep-sea derelict fishing gear at depths of 500–1000 m, which was adequate for the East Sea of Korea where the steep slope of theseabed provides a suitable habitat for snow crabs (Jung et al. 2010).
The fi gear buyback program encouraged fi to collect fi gear or other marine debris (excluding that generated by the fi own ships) during fi by offering monetary rewards based on the amount of debris collected (Cho 2009). The program has generated desirable results: between 2004 and 2008 almost 30,000 t of litter were collected and there was an annual increase in the amount of litter collected from 2,819 t in 2004 to 8,797 t in 2008 (Noh et al. 2010). In addition, the cost
of this program (€1.5 million) was less than half of the cost incurred if the same volume of litter had been collected directly by the government (€3.1 million). The coastal
cleanup programe was carried out at ports and harbors, seabed areas and coastline. It has provided supplementary job opportunities for local residents (mainly senior citizens): >46,000 residents were hired as workers (Han et al. 2010).
As for legal and institutional restructuring, the “National Basic Plan for the Marine Debris Management” was institutionalized in 2008 by most of the concerned central government agencies (Jung et al. 2010). The First Basic Plan to Manage Marine Debris was established for the period from 2009 to 2013 with a budget of ca €45 billion (Jang and Song 2013). This plan is referring the Marine Environment Management Law as its legal base40 and sets two quantitative goals: reduce the amount of marine debris annually entering the ocean from 159,800 t (2007) to 127,840 t (2013) and increase the collection rate from 34 % (2007) to 45 % (2013). However, a study showed that this marine debris policy is not successful in dealing with the marine debris issue since the policy focuses on collecting debris already at sea rather than preventing it from entering the ocean initially and it is almost impossible to measure the debris fl w, given countless non-point sources (Jang and Song 2013).
Taiwan Legislations Relevant to Marine Litter
A comprehensive national program to assess or remediate marine litter is currently not available in Taiwan, although marine litter is pervasive along its coastline. No clear integral mechanism exists for solving marine litter problems. Regulations governing the marine litter disposal fall under the management bodies. Specifically, the Fishing Harbor Act prohibits the discharge of litter to harbor areas. The Commercial Port Act regulates waste discharges at PRFs. The Marine Pollution Control Act is the national legislation of MARPOL 73/78 and London Protocol. The act regulates that waste shall remain on board or be discharged into reception facilities, unless specific conditions apply for legal discharge. However, thus far, specific conditions have yet to be promulgated. In addition, while the authority has already transposed the revised MARPOL Annex V into national law in 15 April 2013, no penalties in breach of this rule exist. Therefore, the relevant regulations have no deterrent effects and are difficult to enforce.
Taiwan Initiatives on Land-Based Waste Management
The plastic restriction policy and the compulsory garbage sorting policy are two major initiatives on land-based waste management. These two initiatives were intended to reduce the amount of waste and have a significant impact on the reduction of the volume of plastic waste. Since 1997, Taiwan has engaged in a wasterecycling campaign by collaborating with communities, recycling enterprises, municipal trash collection teams and the recycling fund. In 2006, a compulsory nation-wide garbage sorting program was initiated to further enhance the household recycling rate.41 The recycling rate of 38 % in 2010 was high, a 100 % increase compared to 2002 (TEPA 2010). In 2002, the government started to implement the plastic restriction policy. Measures include restrictions of the use of plastic shopping bags and disposable plastic tableware in all government agencies and public facilities (e.g. department stores, shopping centers, supermarkets, convenience stores). Within three years of this policy's implementation, the number and the weight of plastic carrier bags were reduced by 58 and 68 %, respectively. In addition, >80 % of shoppers carried shopping bags compared to <20 % prior to the policy, indicating that this policy has initiated a behavioral change toward the use of fewer plastic bags (TEPA 2011).
Taiwan Coastal Cleanup Activities
The project of cleaning the coastal environment has been in place since 1997 with an aim to keep the coastal environment tidy, particularly the relatively populated areas, by conducting regular cleanup activities and setting up adequate reception facilities. However, this project did not involve monitoring marine debris. In general, beach litter surveys around Taiwan have been conducted by civil groups (e.g. Taiwan Ocean Cleanup Alliance) without formal long-term commitments by the government. However, the surveyed areas were limited to a few coastal locations and the survey results were not considered by relevant authorities.