Enhancing public awareness and promoting co-responsibility for marine litter in Europe: The challenge of MARLISCO

Marine litter is a pervasive and complex societal problem but has no simple solution. Inadequate practices at all levels of production–use–disposal contribute to accumulation of waste on land and at sea. Enhanced societal awareness but also co-responsibility across different sectors and improved interactions between stakeholders are necessary.

MARLISCO was a European initiative, which developed and implemented activities across 15 countries. It worked towards raising societal awareness and engagement on marine litter, through a combination of approaches: public exhibitions in over 80 locations; a video competition involving 2100 students; and a legacy of educational and decision-supporting tools. 12 national participatory events designed to facilitate dialogue on solutions brought together 1500 stakeholders and revealed support for cross-cutting, preventive measures. Evaluation during implementation shows that these activities are effective in improving individuals’ perceptions about the problem but also commitment in being part of the solution. This paper summarises MARLISCO’s approach and highlights a selection of outcomes.


Joana M. Veiga, Thomais Vlachogianni, Sabine Pahl and al., Marine Pollution Bulletin, Volume 102, Issue 2, 30 January 2016, Pages 309–315

Integrated Coastal Management: Lessons Learned to Address New Challenges

The article



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