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Marine & Terrestrial Waste

Pollution and the growing volumes of solid and hazardous wastes are major threats to the environments and sustainable development of the Pacific islands and their protected areas. Globalisation is accelerating the transition of Pacific communities towards consumer economies, with increasing urbanisation, migration, and participation in international trade. This is resulting in an escalation in the generation of solid and liquid wastes, and these increase the risk of coastal and marine pollution. The lack of controls on imported chemicals and the lack of capacity for managing pollutants threaten to undermine the quality and health of vulnerable ecosystems on which Pacific islanders depend.

Below are a few key resources on marine and terrestrioal waste

Stay up to date with the latest developments in Hazardous Waste Management, Liquid Waste Management, Marine and Terrestrial Pollution, and Solid Waste Management by visiting the Waste Management and Pollution Control Division at the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP).

5 Gyres Institute

The 5 Gyres Institute has led the effort to research aquatic plastic pollution and to find solutions for regaining a plastic-free ocean. Our mission is to empower people to become leaders in combating the global health crisis of plastic pollution. 

90% of Seabirds are Eating Plastic

90% of Seabirds are Eating Plastic

Wilcox C. et al. “Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502108112


Cleaner Pacific 2025: Pacific Regional Waster and Pollution Management Strategy

Waste management and pollution control remains one of the most pressing environmental issues facing the Pacific region. As the region continues to rely increasingly less on locally sourced food products and rapidly acquires increasing quantities of consumer goods, the quantities of wastes, ranging from plastic packaging through to used motor vehicles, is rapidly escalating across the region.

But there is a strategy and implementation plan


Global Partnership on Marine Litter

Global Partnership on Marine Litter - Factsheet

What is the Global Partnership on Marine Litter ?

Litter is found in all the world's oceans and seas, even in remote areas far from human contact and obvious sources of the problem. The continuous growth in the amount of solid waste thrown away, and the very slow rate of degradation of most items, are together leading to a gradual increase in marine litter found at sea, on the sea floor and coastal shores. It is an economic, environmental, human health and aesthetic problem posing a complex and multi-dimensional challenge.

Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities

The Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) is the only global intergovernmental mechanism directly addressing the connectivity between terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine ecosystems.

GPA aims to be a source of conceptual and practical guidance to be drawn upon by national and/or regional authorities for devising and implementing sustained action to prevent, reduce, control and/or eliminate marine degradation from land-based activities.

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL)

The International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) is the main international convention covering prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships from operational or accidental causes.

International Pellet Watch

Global monitoring of POPs by using beached plastic resin pellets.

Iiternational Pellet Watch is a volunteer-based global monitoring program designed to monitor the pollution status of the oceans. Since its launch in 2005, ~ 80 groups and individuals from ~ 50 countries have been participating...

Marine Litter Legislation: a Toolkit for Policymakers

Marine Litter Toolkit

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a toolkit, titled ‘Marine Litter Legislation: A Toolkit for Policymakers,' which describes legislation used by countries to address marine litter. The toolkit recommends reducing the overall production of marine litter through a circular economy approach that prevents the generation of waste products.

Marine Litter - Vital Graphics

Marine Litter - Vital Graphics

Every year, the sum of humanity’s knowledge increases exponentially. And as we learn more, we also learn there is much we still don’t know. Plastic litter in our oceans is one area where we need to learn more, and we need to learn it quickly. That’s one of the main messages in Marine Litter Vital Graphics. Another important message is that we already know enough to take action.

Marine pollution originating from purse seine and longline fishing vessel operations in the Western and Central Pacific region, 2003-2015

National Ballast Water Management Strategies

National Ballast Water Management Strategies

Cook Islands




NOAA Marine Debris Program

NOAA Marine Debris Program


 The NOAA Marine Debris Program envisions the global ocean and its coasts free from the impacts of marine debris.


The mission of the NOAA Marine Debris Program is to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris.


2016-2020 Strategic Plan


The NOAA Marine Debris Program has developed a strategic plan to succeed in continuing to combat marine debris in the coming years.


Ocean Cleanup

Ocean Cleanup

Ambitious technologies to rid the oceans of plastic.

Pacific Waste Education Handbook

Welcome to the Pacific Waste Education Handbook, created for educators and community facilitators to reduce waste in the Pacific. The Handbook provides innovative material for teaching and learning how we can all help to keep our islands clean of waste. The activities incorporate principles of Education for Sustainable Development, which seeks to focus on changing behaviours to achieve a more sustainable future.

Plastic Oceans

Plastic Oceans 

Plastic Oceans wants to change the world’s attitude towards plastic within a generation using a a Three-Pillared Approach of Science, Mass Communication and Education


SPREP - Waste Management and Pollution Control

The New Plastics Economy: Rethinking the Future of Plastics

The Skimmer: The Latest on Ocean Plastic in Just a Few Minutes

The Skimmer is a new Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM) feature where we review the latest news and research on a particular topic. For our first Skimmer, we’re covering plastic in the ocean and its implications for management. We don’t know about you, but we can barely keep up with the dizzying array of disturbing news on ocean plastic. But since it’s our job to keep up with the news, the Skimmer is here to help out.

Where to Pick up Ocean Plastic

Where to Pick up Ocean Plastic


Sherman P. and E. van Sebille. “Modeling marine surface microplastic transport to assess optimal removal locations.” Environmental Research Letters DOI: 10.1088/1748-9326/11/1/014006