UK National Fora Outcomes

The UK MARLISCO Forum on marine litter took place on the 10th December 2014, at the Central Hall Westminster, London. This was one of twelve national fora taking part in twelve European countries from April 2014 to April 2015.

The UK MARLISCO Forum, organised by Cefas, aimed to promote discussion between multiple stakeholders including representatives of different industry sectors, academia and education, government and local authorities, conservation groups as well as public interest on developing solutions. Stakeholders from England, Wales, Scotland and North Ireland, discussed what can and is being done to tackle marine litter, shared technological and societal positions, explored best practice and discussed options to address the issue.


The forum was facilitated by Kieron White and included a combination of short presentations providing different perspectives on marine litter and examples of practice and approaches, with sessions for practical exercises and discussions within and across tables. 

Speakers included:

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Dr. Mike Waldock, Cefas CEO

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Prof. Richard Thompson, Marine Biology, University of Plymouth

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Dr. Darius Campbell, OSPAR Commmision Head Secretary

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Keith Freegard, Axion Recycling Director, Vicechairman (Recycling Group) of British Plastic Federation

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Dr. Kayley Wyles, Environmental Psycology, Plymouth Marine Laboratory

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Dr. Peter Kershaw, GESAMP UN (Group of Experts on Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection)

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Chris Sherrington, Economics and Ecosystem Services, Eunomia

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Thomas Maes, Cefas, UK Marine Litter Monitoring

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Alex Groves, Royal College of Art, Studio Swine

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Antonino Furfari, Plastics Recyclers Europe

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Ralph Schneider, Plastics Europe

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Graham Seymour, Causeway and Glens Heritage Trust

tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/arrow-more-light.png Andy Cummins, Surfers against Sewage


Additional contributions were made by sharing experiences in break out sessions and providing material for exhibition during the event from different organisations such as: KIMO, Marine Scotland, DOENI, IMO, DECC, Defra, WWF, WFO, IFCA, NFTUA, SFF, Angling Trust, NOC, University of Exeter, AoC, Packaging Federation, British Soft Drinks Association, Southern Water, Lambeth Council, Fauna and Flora International, Keep Britain Tidy, Keep North Ireland Beautiful, Wildlife Trust, Thames 21, MCS, Celtic Seas Partnership, AONB, Science of the Environment Policy, SeaLife, Plastic Ocean, Coastwatch, EuPC, etc.

Seventy participants representing a wide variety of stakeholders and interests discussed options, with consideration as to how easy the implementation would be and the level of impact, if successful. The options selected within each table were shared with the rest of participants and provided to the facilitator.



The options agreed by participants during the sessions were further discussed and narrowed into ten options. The event helped to build on the positive actions to date to address the issue, and highlight the areas to invest in and join further efforts.



The need for education and behavioural change were key aspects that participants discussed throughout the event. Educational programmes in schools and outdoor activities, and public campaigns to inform on impacts of marine litter as well as options on reduce, reuse and recycling would help to address the problem. Engagement with industry has proved to give very good results in the past, and further efforts were identified to support the effectiveness on reduction and reuse options. The removal of microplastics in products was considered as a needed option. Consistent guidelines on recycling and labelling on packaging was also considered important (for more details see report, and video).


tl_files/marlisco/lib/layout/icon-pdf.png Download the final report

Watch the video of the UK forum