Marine litter: Progress in developing an integrated policy approach in Scotland

Emily Hastings*, Tavis Potts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Marine litter is a problem that undermines the Scottish Government's vision for 'clean, healthy, safe, productive, biologically diverse marine and coastal environments, managed to meet the long term needs of nature and people'. The impacts of marine litter extend to environmental, social and economic spheres but currently the understanding of effects is limited. It is clear however, that marine litter can impact on a range of resources and ultimately threaten policy goals such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and its focus on delivering a clean and healthy marine environment. The Scottish Government has initiated a process to advance a marine litter strategy as part of its response to the MSFD. This paper draws upon the literature and practice of environmental policy integration to 'identify opportunities and obstacles in the emerging policy response in Scotland. Ultimately, any marine litter strategy for Scotland should be innovative and forward looking, coordinating amongst the variety of sectors, users and instruments available joining the dots' to tackle the considerable challenges in educating the public and contributing to a zero waste Scotland. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalMarine Policy
Early online date28 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Marine litter
  • Marine policy
  • Policy integration
  • Scotland
  • Plastic debris
  • Environmental implications
  • Sea-floor
  • Invasions
  • Impacts
  • Island


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