Due to long and complex supply chain of plastic products, leakage of plastics into the environment should be reduced at all stages, from upstream to downstream.
Thus, tackling marine litter issues requires typically the involvement of ministries and government authorities in charge of fishery, coastal and river management, land-based waste management, and industries producing, using, and recycling plastics, among others. The roles and responsibilities of specific ministries or local governments are different in any given country.
The establishment of a national coordination mechanism therefore is important to harmonize relevant government authorities’ activities. The mechanism is expected to clarify the role of each ministry/government authorities; share knowledge and experience among them; facilitate collaboration; adjust burden sharing, including costs; and lead international cooperation.
Similarly, national laws and regulations related to marine plastic debris management vary from country to country. Some countries give importance to marine environment protection, whereas others might consider waste management or promotion of recycling to be the regulatory means through which they address the issue. Adoption and application of notable international agreements is also an important step forward.
This National Framework section covers the Ministries and Coordination Mechanism, National Laws and Regulations, Local Regulations, Action Plans and Roadmaps, and International Agreement.