Marine litter appears in the sea by the hands of Man, either directly or indirectly. Any durable, manufactured or processed material that is discarded or abandoned, without being sent to the correct places, it can originate marine litter. According to the United Nations, around 80% of all the waste we find at sea originates on land. Only 20% are related to maritime activities. Naturally these percentages vary from region to region around the globe, depending on factors such as the intensity of the urbanism and main economic activities in the region.
- Negligent waste disposal (near or far from shore)
- Inappropriate waste disposal at home (Example: Dumping cotton swabs in the toilet)
- Inexistence or overload of sewage treatment plants
- Failures in waste management during the collection, transport, treatment or disposal of waste
- Industrial activities
Even when we are far from shore, if we don't put our litter in the proper places, it can eventually lead to marine litter. The trash finds its way to the sea through rivers, sewers, stormwater outfalls, pushed by the wind, washed away by rains or tides. The storms and extreme natural events such as hurricanes or tsunamis are also responsible for dragging large amounts of waste into the sea.
- Commercial fishing
- recreational activities
- Merchant, military and research navy
- Platforms offshore of oil and natural gas exploration