Managing Marine Litter: Exploring the Evolving Role of International and European Law in Confronting a Persistent Environmental Problem

Merkourios, Vol. 27, No. 73, pp. 4-18, June 2011

15 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2011

See all articles by Arie Trouwborst

Arie Trouwborst

Tilburg University - Department of European & International Public Law; Tilburg Sustainability Center

Date Written: June 14, 2011

Abstract

The contamination of the world’s oceans by human garbage, especially plastics, ranks among those environmental problems whose resolution appears remote, despite the considerable public attention paid to the ‘Great Garbage Patch’ in the Pacific, ‘plastic soup’, and the like. This ‘marine litter’ (or ‘marine debris’) problem is characterized by diffuse sources and an array of adverse environmental impacts, including entanglement of and ingestion by albatrosses, fulmars, turtles, seals and a variety of other marine wildlife. This article explores the evolving role of international law in the efforts to manage marine litter, including recent developments involving the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR Convention) and the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD).

Keywords: marine litter, plastic pollution, international environmental law, OSPAR Convention, marine strategy framework directive

Suggested Citation

Trouwborst, Arie, Managing Marine Litter: Exploring the Evolving Role of International and European Law in Confronting a Persistent Environmental Problem (June 14, 2011). Merkourios, Vol. 27, No. 73, pp. 4-18, June 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1870871

Arie Trouwborst (Contact Author)

Tilburg University - Department of European & International Public Law ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Tilburg Sustainability Center ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, North Brabant 5000 LE
Netherlands

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