Program

7IMDC

September 18 (Sun) - 23 (Fri), 2022

Busan, Republic of Korea

Technical Sessions

The 7IMDC’s Call for Technical Sessions was held from November 2021 to January 2022, and it received an impressive response – the number of proposals received was almost double what the conference can accommodate. The selection process was rigorous, and in the end 115 Technical Sessions were accepted by the 7IMDC’s Executive Committee, organized around 9 thematic tracks. All final Technical Sessions and their full descriptions can be found on this page.

Proposal authors were notified by email on 13-14 March 2022 of their proposal’s status – if you did not receive any notification, please check your spam folder or contact info@7imdc.org. If your proposal was not accepted as a Technical Session, we strongly encourage you to consider resubmitting it as an Abstract or a Poster.

Call for Abstracts and Posters

The Call for Abstracts and Posters for the 7IMDC was launched on 31 March 2022, and will close on 6 May 2022. Full details can be found on Abstracts and Posters page.

We kindly ask that authors refrain from directly contacting the co-chairs of any Technical Session to which they submit an abstract or a poster, in order to allow the review and selection process to run its course fairly.

  • TRACK 1

    Monitoring (15 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-1.1

      Title

      Stories and lessons from around the world: How monitoring can help inform actions to tackle marine litter (Part 1 of 2)

      Format

      Presentation-based

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Josie Russell (Senior Marine Litter Scientific Advisor, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK), Hillary Burgess (Monitoring Coordinator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Marine Debris Program). Contributors: Sevvandi Jayakody (Senior Lecturer, Wayamba University, Sri Lanka), Sunny Hong (Director, OSEAN).

      Short description

      This session is an opportunity to bring together scientists, policy makers and national and international organizations and activists from around the world to share examples and lessons-learned for marine litter and microplastic monitoring programs.

      Full description

      There is an urgent need to develop reliable marine litter and microplastics monitoring and assessment programs to support policy and legislation against this significant global pollutant. Monitoring programs are established to meet a wide range of potential goals, including documenting the distribution and composition of marine litter over time and space, identification of sources, movement and fate, quantification of impact, public engagement and awareness and reporting for current and future global frameworks. Monitoring efforts have an ultimate goal of supporting evidence based policy making and action. Adequate data can help prioritize resources and determine the most effective actions, and can also be used to measure efficacy so that lessons can be learnt. Yet data collection does not automatically translate into actions in tangible ways and often there is still a gap between science and policy.

      Energized by the adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14.1.1 and the post 2020 Biodiversity Framework and its emphasis on seas and pollutants; an increasing number of Regional Seas Conventions, national governments, NGOs, and other organizations are currently leading and developing marine litter monitoring programs. This session is a chance for international co-learning and sharing about the latest improvements and modifications in monitoring methods and assessments, examples of where data informing actions, and barriers and solutions, in order to facilitate the development of effective national, regional, and global monitoring programs.

      This session aims to explore the needs and challenges faced by governments and/ or organizations developing or adapting monitoring programs to look at how we could better connect, share technical capabilities, build capacity and create opportunities to better integrate marine litter observations into wider environmental monitoring programs. Audience members will come away with an understanding of the role of monitoring in developing solutions to marine litter, and insights for program implementation in service of that goal. The session will provide recommendations, and practical examples of marine litter monitoring and assessment programs as a powerful tool to support decision making.

      Drawing from knowledge and experience of existing and burgeoning Regional Seas Conventions and national monitoring and assessment programs, we will demonstrate how monitoring programs and harmonized datasets can inform preventative actions and decisions. These could include new policies or strategies, behavior change campaigns, litigation or regulatory enforcement, or business practices. In addition, we look to demonstrate how monitoring data can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of such actions and decisions. Case studies will explore the attributes of the monitoring program and indicators, and/or lessons-learned that enable or prevent such impacts.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.2

      Title

      THE FUTURE OF THE SCIENCE OF MONITORING

      Format

      Presentation-based with possible panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Francois Galgani (Project manager, IFREMER, and EU/MSFD TGML member), Sunny Hong (Director, OSEAN). Contributors: Hillary Burgess (Monitoring Coordinator, NOAA), Georg Hanke (European Commission Joint Research Centre, Directorate Sustainable Resources, and EU/MSFD TGML chair).

      Short description

      New concepts, tools and methods, new indicators and new types of data to support the future of monitoring.

      Full description

      Marine litter and microplastics are a priority for collaborative action under many national, regional and global initiatives. There are a wide range of potential and comparable concepts, tools and methods to support the synthesis of existing data, as well as development of new approaches and indicators for refined spatial or temporal assessments. The global marine debris community collects an abundance of data on the presence of marine debris in our environment. Considering more local efforts, microplastics, other compartments besides shorelines, the uptake of monitoring efforts to track UN sustainable development goals and a possible international treaty, in addition to emerging technologies that may be coupled with existing efforts, the volume of data is vast, varied, and fast-growing.

      Approaches across different litter size ranges and environmental compartments need to be integrated in order to account for the multi-compartment and transboundary nature of marine litter. How do we ensure that these data and resulting analyses are fit-for-purpose? When should harmonization and interoperability be prioritized? What questions can be answered with existing datasets, and what are the limitations? What will be marine litter data in the future? And what is the future of monitoring?

      This session will explore considerations for designing, implementing, upscaling monitoring programs, and analyzing the resultant data. The session will explore new indicators for monitoring, including life cycle indicators for plastic litter and linkages with other monitoring initiatives, consider data harmonization, interoperability and synergies between existing platforms, ensuring and measuring data quality. More generally, it will provide insights into inspirational and future developments, aiming at recommendations for scientists, policymakers, and environmental managers to optimize and update their monitoring plans and data collection schemes.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.3

      Title

      TOWARDS MONITORING BASELINES AND TRENDS OF FLOATING MARINE MACRO LITTER

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      George Hanke (European Commission Joint Research Centre), Giuseppe Suaria (National Research Council - Institute of Marine Sciences, Italy)

      Short description

      Presenting, reviewing and discussing approaches that will enable large scale datasets of floating macrolitter at sea in order to quantify impacts, sources, sinks, transboundary pathways and efficacy of mitigation measures.

      Full description

      Understanding the quantitative abundance of floating macro litter/debris at sea is of crucial importance to assess environmental threats, sources, sinks and pathways of marine litter, as well as to evaluate the efficacy of current and future mitigation actions. Monitoring the mobile fraction of marine litter is characterised by multiple challenges, posed by the limited access to the open sea, restrictions by weather conditions, the high variability in macro litter inputs both temporarily and spatially, enhanced by the complexity of marine currents. On top of this, the still many open research questions regarding method development and harmonization, as well as the fate of litter at sea, its sinking, its degradation and its offshore or along-shore transport, including stranding and beaching on coastlines limit the understanding of floating macro litter pathways at sea.

      While there is international agreement on the need to collect quantitative data on floating litter at sea, under policy frameworks such as the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive and in Regional Sea Conventions, harmonized data collection protocols and databases to collect and host such data are still being developed.

      Most data on floating macro litter are still derived from isolated research efforts, through projects or institutions. It appears therefore timely to continue efforts in reviewing the development of methodologies to explore the state-of-the-art and to identify needs for harmonisation in order to create large scale comparable datasets.

      The session will therefore host leading scientists in method developments and practical data acquisition to report their latest findings on floating macro litter. These should cover different technologies and geographical areas in order to demonstrate the large-scale aspect of the monitoring efforts. Presented approaches will include low-tech approaches for wide application and emerging image-based technologies, such as remote sensing. The link of different contributions within the session should be the confluence of data into open databases and repositories, enabling assessments, trend calculations and modelling. While the session has a very technical view on methodological aspects, it will acknowledge the need to connect the different aspects and environmental compartments to a holistic quantitative view that enables the planning and checking the efficiency of measures against marine litter.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.4

      Title

      MONITORING AND MODELLING RIVERINE LITTER INPUT INTO THE OCEAN

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Daniel González-Fernández (Research Fellow - Department of Biology - University of Cádiz), Tim van Emmerik (Assistant professor - Department of Environmental Sciences - Wageningen University)

      Short description

      Harmonization of monitoring methodologies to improve data comparability and reduce uncertainties in the assessment of riverine litter input to the ocean.

      Full description

      Rivers are a major pathway for transporting inland-generated waste - plastic and other litter materials - from terrestrial sources to the marine environment. The assessment of riverine litter inputs can provide essential information for the identification of sources, fate, sinks and hotspot distribution of marine litter. However, the identity and quantities of litter entering the seas through rivers remain largely unknown, with global estimates relying on limited field data. The lack of harmonized monitoring methodologies provides data that are often not comparable. This issue also constrains the calculation of ‘items to mass’ conversion rates, which are unreliable across the plastic litter size spectrum (micro-, meso- and macro-). In addition, the insufficient knowledge on the processes that characterize the litter transport in rivers and estuaries to the seas cause large uncertainties in the temporal extrapolation of plastic loads.

      The discussion panel will focus on how to reduce the uncertainties resulting from data gaps such as field monitoring of floating and non-floating loads of different plastic size fractions (from micro- to macro-), and knowledge gaps in understanding the transport processes in freshwater bodies and estuaries that determine temporal variability in plastics fluxes to the ocean via rivers. Elements such as the use of common litter classification lists, harmonized monitoring methods across different litter size ranges, and monitoring approaches targeting litter flux temporal variability will be explored. The discussion of such elements will be aimed at setting the minimum basis that could lead to a global monitoring network for the assessment of riverine litter input to the ocean.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.5

      Title

      INTEGRATED MARINE DEBRIS OBSERVING SYSTEM – IMDOS

      Format

      Presentation plus Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Nikolai Maximenko (Senior Researcher, University of Hawaii), Francois Galgani (IFREMER and EU MSFD TGML, France)

      Short description

      This session will review progress in development of an Integrated Marine Debris Observing System and examples of its early products.

      Full description

      Marine debris is characterized by its complex composition, sources, dynamics, and impacts on the environment. Its efficient and effective monitoring requires integration of all available instruments and techniques across a broad range of scales and disciplines. Concept of an Integrated Marie Debris Observing System (IMDOS) was forwarded at OceanObs’19, UN Ocean Decade Clean Ocean Laboratory and other conferences and received a great support from scientific and broader communities.

      In our session, we will:

      • Present examples of successful synthesis of in situ observations with remote sensing and modeling in multi-disciplinary studies that helped to improve understanding the dynamics of marine debris and provide guidance for useful applications;
      • Overview the state of the global and regional marine debris observing systems;
      • Identify remaining critical gaps;
      • Promote interactions across different disciplines, geographical regions, and ocean compartments;
      • Develop schemes of harmonization of various types of data; and
      • Discuss collaborations between various stakeholders in framework of IMDOS.

      We will coordinate with other 7IMDC sessions addressing monitoring technologies, harmonization, and informational support needed by policymakers and environmental managers."

    • Track ID

      TS-1.6

      Title

      CITIZEN SCIENCE FOR COMBATING MARINE LITTER: CHALLENGES AND POTENTIALITIES

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Alexander Turra (Professor at the Oceanographic Institute of the University of São Paulo), Kaleigh Wyles (Associate Professor in Environmental Psychology, University of Plymouth)

      Short description

      How citizen science can be effectively used to monitor and research marine debris securing both the citizens’ and researchers’ demands can be met.

      Full description

      Marine litter is a growing issue, related to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), in particular SDG 14 - Life Below Water. It can have lethal and sublethal effects to biota, such as entanglement and ingestion, but also potentially to humans, such as accidents with beachgoers and contamination of fisheries. Citizen science (when non-professional scientists contribute to scientific research) is a way to both collect further research on the distribution, composition and/or impacts of marine litter as well as engage society with the issue and its respective solutions. Currently the role of citizen science in helping the international monitoring of marine litter and creating a global monitoring network has been highlighted but not yet fully embraced. Some challenges remain in this endeavor. In this technical session, findings from an international research team will first be presented that highlights key obstacles (and more optimistically, opportunities) that currently face citizen science in relation to marine litter, which will then be discussed between both a panel as well as the audience.

      A variety of methods and current findings will be first presented. This includes findings from a scoping review of the scientific literature, a critical review of marine debris related apps used for participating in citizen science, and surveys on existing users of citizen science. One key challenge is establishing, sharing and implementing good practices of citizen science to optimize the scientific use of the collected information while amplifying the role of citizen science approaches in promoting individual and societal changes. This includes the appropriateness and effective use of technologies, such as mobile phone apps. Moreover, there is a potential gap between scientists’ and citizen scientists’ dimensions, such as there may be a conflict in each group’s expectations and goals in engaging with the marine litter issue. Bringing scientists and citizen scientists together is fundamental to promote citizen participation and project viability. In light of these findings, we will then discuss the future of citizen science as a strategy to face marine litter and to feed SDG 14 indicators as well as to discuss ways to expand the capacity of citizen science to fulfill both the citizens’ and researchers’ demands. We will talk about the role of good practices in citizen science projects mediated by technologies such as smartphones. Discussions will initially be directed to the invited panel. The audience will also be encouraged to share previous experiences in this area and discuss solutions to the presented issues."

    • Track ID

      TS-1.7

      Title

      EMPOWERING SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITY SCIENCE AND MONITORING THROUGH COLLABORATIVE TECHNOLOGY

      Format

      Presentation-based-with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Diego Sancho Gallegos (Surf Conservation Data Coordinator at Save The Waves Coalition), Kathryn Youngblood (Research Engineer, University of Georgia; Citizen Science Director, Debris Tracker)

      Short description

      Community stakeholder groups have leveraged technology to track plastic pollution and other coastal threats, using community science as a tool to collect data, inspire action, and empower coastal users.

      Full description

      As plastic pollution is a global problem, it requires a global community to monitor and collect meaningful data that can lead to solutions grounded in science. A large proportion of marine debris and plastic pollution originates on land and enters the ocean at the land-to-sea interface. Citizen science efforts to collect data on plastic pollution are not new but have grown significantly in the last decade, and they provide a key tool for the sustainable monitoring of baseline data in communities. Such monitoring efforts have greatly helped contribute to knowledge on plastic pollution and inspired action at both global and local scales, and community science empowers coastal users to steward these liminal spaces and connect with practitioners and agencies whose job it is to protect them.

      The inclusion of community scientists in efforts to protect and conserve our natural resources provides an opportunity to further educate and engage the general public. Technology plays a critical role in present-day engagement and inclusion of the public in these efforts. This technical session will present existing tools and technologies that aim to empower the public to be a part of the solution, discuss learnings and best practices for community science, and outline the technology that can facilitate this type of work moving forward. These technologies include The Save The Waves App, a coastal monitoring tool created by Save The Waves Coalition, and the Marine Debris Tracker app, a citizen science app to collect geospatial data on plastic pollution developed by the University of Georgia.

      Leveraging these existing tools, much of the actual on-the-ground data collection is facilitated and organized at the grassroots level, by diverse groups such as educators, non-profits, and researchers. This session will be an opportunity to highlight local groups leading innovative, successful, and sustained data collection efforts, as well as to facilitate a conversation around monitoring methods most applicable in settings from coasts to rivers to cities. Case studies from around the world will be presented by practitioners from local organizations who have benefited from technology to tackle their community’s trash and litter issues. We will also discuss best practices for community engagement at different geopolitical levels, taking local context into perspective and the potential for adapting lessons to other regions. Ultimately, this session will result in a better understanding of projects that can serve as models of local action, while contributing to the global picture of baseline data on plastic pollution. This type of community science data collection is critical to examine effectiveness of solutions and inspire change.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.8

      Title

      DESIGN, STATISTICAL ANALYSES AND METHODS STANDARDIZATION FOR MACROLITTER SURVEYS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Dr. Marthe Larsen Haarr (Senior researcher, Salt Lofoten AS [Svolvær, Norway]), Dr. Amy Lusher (Researcher, Norwegian Institute of Water Research [NIVA; Tromsø, Norway])

      Short description

      This session is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion regarding best practises surrounding survey design, statistical robustness, reproducibility, representativity and comparability of macrolitter monitoring and research across all marine compartments.

      Full description

      There are currently several international efforts underway to standardize methodologies for monitoring marine macro litter (e.g., EUROqCHARM funded by the European Union) driven by the development of national, regional and global plastic pollution policy. Simultaneously efforts are also being made to generate regional and global mass budget models describing the distribution, accumulation and abundance of marine litter (e.g., efforts by the Global Partnership on Marine Litter).

      A key component of all these efforts is the need for large amounts of robust and comparable data that allow tracking the evolution of concentration, stocks and flows both spatially and temporally. Optimizations of survey design, metrics of measurement, and statistical analyses are important components to achieve this. In this session we will focus on presentations showcasing impacts of choices pertaining to different aspects of survey design and analyses, such as, but not limited to, considerations regarding spatial and temporal scales, autocorrelation, independence of data points, replication, variability and dependency structures in the data, plot size, shape and variability, plotless methods, and detection probability. Discussions of measurement metrics, such as counts, weight and volume, or size, material, object and source categories will also be incorporated.

      These considerations are highly relevant for monitoring efforts and efforts to harmonise these, including initiatives utilizing citizen science, but also for independent original research at global to highly local scales. Advancing understanding on the questions above is crucial as the development of harmonised and standardised methodologies is urgent as monitoring and assessment is underway and we must ensure that data gathered can be integrated and compared within and across marine compartments (e.g., beaches, seafloor, surface)."

    • Track ID

      TS-1.9

      Title

      MARINE LITTER HOTSPOTS IDENTIFICATION USING NUMERICAL SIMULATIONS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Eric Chassignet (Professor, Florida State University)

      Short description

      This session will review the latest advances in marine litter modeling and discuss their ability at identifying marine litter hotspots.

      Full description

      Litter is found in all of the world’s oceans and seas, even in remote areas far from human activities. Thus, tracking the movement of plastic litter in the ocean is crucial. Ocean currents control the distribution and accumulation of floating marine debris, but observational data are very sparse, and it is difficult to analyze and predict the movement of debris. Most of our understanding on the motion of floating marine debris comes from numerical simulations and given the scarcity of observational data, numerical models can be used to simulate the motions of debris and test scenarios. In particular, they can be used to identify marine litter hotspots. There are many factors that determine the transport and fate of debris in the ocean: one must consider their size, buoyancy, and life cycle as they are moved around by ocean currents, surface wave induced Stokes drift, and wind drag.

      The session will address the following questions: How are these factors taken into account in numerical simulations? Are the numerical simulations accurate enough to provide useful information in identifying hotspots? What are the major uncertainties? These questions are of tremendous interest to the United Nations and the international community as they seek to track, identify, and eventually attend to the major sources of marine plastics in the ocean.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.10

      Title

      4M-DIGITAL INNOVATION TO UNDERSTAND PLASTIC LITTER IN THE ENVIRONMENT

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Kavinda Gunasekara (Associate Director, Geoinformatics Center of Asian Institute of Technology), Kakuko Nagatani-Yoshida (UNEP Global Coordinator for Chemicals, Waste and Air Quality)

      Short description

      Abating the plastic pollution with utilizing 4M (Man, Machine, Mapping, Monitoring) approach to understand the plastic leakage from cradle to fate

      Full description

      The approach for plastic pollution monitoring has been enhanced by digital innovation techniques including citizen scientists. Along with the UNEP CounterMEASURE project for the clean rivers from the emerging plastic pollution, Geoinformatics Center of Asian Institute of Technology flourishes the latest technology and social integrity to prevail the truth of the intelligence of machine and human and wrapping up plastic litter distribution.

      Continuing from the previous phase of the CounterMEASURE project, we conclude the integration of three major innovations:

      • Machine learning and digital tool integration
      • Leakage source mapping
      • Citizen science social inclusion

      Machine Learning - Using computer vision and state-of-the-art deep learning techniques for object detection, we introduced a pipeline and methodologies to identify the plastic litter in the outdoor environment. The vehicle-mounted camera to recognize the plastic litter along the streets on the city-scale, remotely installed CCTV systems to identify the floating plastic debris, and UAV-based mapping along channels to identify open littering hotspots and litter in the riverbanks and coastal areas.

      Leakage Source Mapping - A predictive map of plastic leakage source hotpot was altered using the harmonization between waste management, plastic value chain, distribution approach, and hydrological studies. We conduct a deep investigation into the sources of plastic waste generation to close the plastic pollution tap. Subsequently, a pathway from possible plastic leakage sources identifies to address the mobilization of the plastic waste/pollution in the river. The leakage model is suitable for enhancing the decision-making at the city level for plastic leakage solutions.

      Social Inclusive of Citizen Science - The power of citizen science has proved to enhance science with evidence-based information. As we included to gain contributions towards environmental issues, citizen science which involved collecting data across the cities, also implies raising awareness of the emerging plastic issues. With the simple task of collecting data and doing annotation in our platform, we continuously approach society to build more capacity in contributing to solving plastic waste solutions. Over 400 students across the nations in Asia as citizen science have been involved t in making change.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.11

      Title

      INTEROPERABLE DATA AND PLASTIC POLLUTION MODELING TOWARDS NATIONAL ACTION PLANNING.

      Format

      Presentation-based with possible panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Steffen Blume (GIZ) & Costas Velis (University of Leeds), Nicola Balbarini (UNEP-DHI) & Nao Takeuchi (UN-Habitat). Contributors: Feng Wang (UNEP), Lynn Sorrentino (IUCN), Delphine Arri (The World Bank)

      Short description

      This session presents waste data as well as plastic pollution modeling approaches and elaborates success factors for interoperable and shared data approaches for national action planning and informed decision making.

      Full description

      Understanding the sources and hotspots of plastic leakage is essential to inform decision making and prioritise interventions to address marine plastic and debris.

      In 2021, UN-Habitat launched the Waste Wise Cities Tool, a rapid assessment tool for cities’ municipal solid waste (MSW) management through monitoring SDG indicator 11.6.1 (Proportion of MSW collected and managed in controlled facilities out of total municipal solid waste generated).

      In parallel, GIZ, University of Leeds, wasteaware and eawag launched the Waste Flow Diagram, a tool to estimate plastic leakage and hotspots from municipal solid waste management systems informing SDG indicator 11.6.1. Both tools are harmonized using same data points and have been applied in about 50 cities around the world filling waste data gaps with quality primary data through standardized methodologies in line with SDG monitoring framework. This encourages evidence-based decision making and infrastructure investments in improving municipal solid waste management especially in cities in low-to-middle income countries directly contributing marine litter and plastic pollution reduction.

      Similarly, UNEP and IUCN published the ‘'National Guidance for Plastic Pollution Hotspotting and Shaping Action'’ , and tested it in more than 8 countries and 6 cities. The guidance and associated tool aim to support countries to identify plastic leakage ‘hotspots’, find their impacts along the entire plastic value chain, and then prioritise actions to stop the leakage. Through data science project a coordinated approach has been developed for the WFD and the guidance.

      Building on this bottom-up primary and observation-based data approach, the state-of-the art GIS and R based interoperable SPOT model was developed to link local waste data to national and global scales of plastic pollution and marine litter assessment.

      Based on that the DHI’s Global Hydrological Model was used to develop a macroplastic river transport model that provides seasonal forecasted plastic load and relative plastic load for the world’s major rivers. This informs a risk and early warning system that allows for monitoring, intervention, and mitigation activities in freshwater terrestrial environments all across the globe.

      The session will introduce the current efforts by various GPML partners including UN-Habitat, GIZ, University of Leeds, UNEP, UNEP-DHI and IUCN before inviting for feedback and suggestions from the audience as to future collaboration and coordination opportunities across data and models. It will explore success factors and requirements for successful data cooperation and interoperable data models for informed decision making as well as action planning on the ground, in line with the National Action Planning process to address marine litter and plastic pollution.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.12

      Title

      PLASTIC TRANSPORT MONITORING FROM SOURCE TO THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT

      Format

      Presentation-based with possible panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Rose Boahemaa Pinto (PhD Candidate, Environmental Sciences Department, Wageningen University and Research), Nao Takeuchi (Waste Management Specialist, UN-Habitat). Contributors: Daniel González Fernández (Research fellow – Department of Biology – University of Cádiz), Steffen Blume (Advisor/Project Manager, GIZ).

      Short description

      Monitoring efforts on plastic leakage from mismanaged waste on land through urban water systems into the ocean.

      Full description

      Currently about 80% of marine plastic debris comes from land-based sources due to inadequate waste management which are transported through riverine systems and eventually into the ocean. This suggest that land-based sources are major contributors for plastic leakage into aquatic systems. Understanding the leakage and transport of plastic waste from source to sea involves various monitoring or modelling methodologies cutting across different areas of expertise, and also require reliable data on waste management. In order to correctly monitor the plastic waste transport from source to sea, a harmonized approach based on standardized methodologies for data collection is much needed.

      Therefore, in this session, we focus on two specific aspects that form the chain of plastic leakage from source to the marine environment, i.e., the leakage of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) from urban areas and waste management systems, and the transport of plastics through urban water systems (e.g., coastal and riverine cities).

      We expect contributions from scientists and stakeholders involved in the monitoring of the SDG indicator 11.6.1 (Proportion of MSW collected and managed in controlled facilities out of total MSW generated). Particularly, we expect results related to the use of the monitoring methods such as the Waste Wise Cities Tool for the assessment of MSW management, launched by UN-Habitat in 2021; and the Waste Flow Diagram to estimate plastic leakage and hotspots from MSW management systems, launched by GIZ. Both tools have been applied widely and can contribute to fill relevant data gaps by providing quality primary data in line with the SDG monitoring framework provided by United Nations.

      In addition, we encourage researchers to submit their works on macroplastic transport in urban water systems. Since urban water systems provide the link between leakage of MSW and plastic input into freshwater and marine ecosystems, e.g., via transport through rivers and estuaries, it is necessary for the quantification on the distribution of plastics through such systems, especially in low- and middle-income countries, where data availability is low. Data on the macroplastic transport through these water systems helps to estimate the plastic mass transport and identify sources and (temporary) sinks.

      For this session, discussions will be held on the pros and cons of each monitoring effort, the existing gaps, and the way forward. This session aims to be interactive and open to ideas on the possible ways in quantifying plastics from land into the ocean and the possible solutions to address this issue.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.14

      Title

      TARGETING DEBRIS IN FRESHWATER ECOSYSTEMS: MONITORING TO GUIDE ACTION PLANNING

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Nicola Balbarini (Water resources engineer, UNEP-DHI Centre), Heidi Savelli-Soderberg (Programme Officer, UNEP)

      Short description

      Data informs political action and targeted interventions – closing the data gap in freshwater ecosystems requires stakeholder collaboration, data harmonization, and innovation in monitoring efforts.

      Full description

      Marine debris, especially marine plastic litter, has long been recognized as a serious global problem. Addressing plastic once it has arrived as litter in marine environments is important work, but preventative action is ideal and is most effective when addressing the problem at the source.

      It is estimated that 70-80% of plastic in the marine environment stems from land-based sources. The earth’s river network acts as a system of highways to transport mismanaged waste from its origin to the sea. Mitigation and prevention of freshwater debris pollution are thus intimately linked with addressing the problem of marine debris. This is an arena engaging stakeholders and decision-makers from the local to the global level – including those based in landlocked countries without a coastline.

      The foundation to strategy development and targeted action is a better understanding of the problem to be addressed, and this is achieved through the collection and analysis of data. However, monitoring and data collection for freshwater debris, in particular plastic debris, has proven to be a challenge. Freshwater plastic observations are manually intensive to collect and determining the source of plastic in the environment is complex. Models can help to elucidate processes in the environment when data collection is difficult or limited, yet most transport models focus on the freshwater/marine interface and not on dynamics within the freshwater environment.

      Innovative monitoring tools, technology, and programs are essential to informing political action and targeted interventions to address freshwater debris pollution. This will support regional programs and countries towards the development of national source inventories and action plans. For example, the UN Environmental Programme and the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) have developed a configurable and scalable digital platform, the GPML Data Hub, to provide insights to support decision-making in a broader global context. By plugging the data gap and harmonizing efforts, stakeholders will be able to make informed decisions to reduce both freshwater and marine debris."

    • Track ID

      TS-1.15

      Title

      CITIZEN SCIENCE APPROACHES TO MONITOR MARINE LITTER AND MICROPLASTIC; DISCUSSION AND CASE STUDIES

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jin Tanaka (Member, UNEP MGCY), Miko Aliño (Project Coordinator for Corporate Accountability, Break Free From Plastic Movement). Contributors: Carol Maione (Metabolism of Cities Living Lab, Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age at San Diego State University), Gabriela Fernandez (Metabolism of Cities Living Lab, Center for Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age at San Diego State University), Dilek Frails (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis), Jessie Olivier (International Liaison, Australian Citizen Science Association).

      Short description

      How open and participatory science paradigms can foster monitoring, quantification, awareness and education on marine pollution.

      Full description

      Marine litter and microplastic pollution negatively impacts every corner of our globe. Beaches and waterfronts are littered with plastic, islands of plastics can be found floating in the ocean, seas, streams, rivers, and lakes. A recent study of protected areas in the western US year has found an annual deposit of plastic rain, that is the equivalent of over 120 million plastic water bottles being littered (Wired, 2020). The consumption of single-use plastics has also increased with the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, which has caused a spike in the consumption of single-use sanitary products - such as masks and gloves - along with an increase in less necessary single-use plastic bags and take-out containers (World Economic Forum, 2020).

      In such situation monitoring the status of our marine and coastal environment as well as the use of plastic is essential. We cannot combat what we don’t know. Involving the population, including non scientists, young people and children, in this monitoring process is key because leveraging education and awareness of the impacts of plastic pollution is fundamental to face the problem of littering.

      Education is needed to foster action and trigger changes across societies. Through education and awareness, individuals can overcome some of the barriers associated with social norms and beliefs that have driven overconsumption of plastic and uncontrolled littering. New and innovative approaches to data collection involving citizens and crowdsourcing can combine education awareness and data collections. The so-called “Citizen Science approach” provided several experiences, especially in areas with limited data and capacity to establish comprehensive monitoring programmes and build conscious behaviours. The collaboration with civil society in monitoring programmes and initiatives collecting relevant data can provide an opportunity, even if citizen science is coupled with Open Science, as the attitude to make scientific research (including publications, data, physical samples, and software) and its dissemination accessible to all levels.

      One example of this citizen science approach is the brand audit - a citizen action initiative developed by the Break Free From Plastic movement. Now on its fifth year, brand audits involve counting and documenting the brands found on plastic waste collected at a cleanup to identify the companies responsible for plastic pollution. Toolkits and annual reports are also accessible online for those who would like to be part of this global effort.

      The session wants to address the topic of citizen science approaches for monitoring marine litter both as a new data collection approach as well a powerful advocacy tool against marine litter and microplastic pollution.

    • Track ID

      TS-1.16

      Title

      OPTIONS FOR DEVELOPING GLOBAL PLASTICS INDICATORS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Karen Raubenheimer (Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong, Australia)

      Short description

      This session will investigate the synergies between the development of global indicators for the life cycle of plastics and existing indicator frameworks of relevance.

      Full description

      Tracking progress towards targets requires the development of indicators. This process has been undertaken for a number of global frameworks of relevance to the issue of pollution in many forms resulting from the life cycle of plastics. Although the existing indicator frameworks are not specific to plastic pollution and no global targets have yet been set for plastic pollution reduction to guide the development of indicators, there are valuable lessons to be gained from the processes and challenges faced in the development of global indicators. There is also opportunity to make use of existing indicator frameworks where disaggregation of the plastics data is feasible. This would greatly reduce the resources required by governments to gather data towards the tracking of indicators.

      Existing indicators for plastic pollution focus primarily on those found in the environment, particularly the coastal and marine environments. A new global indicator framework for plastics must aim to track progress towards reduction of consumption and emissions across the life cycle of plastics, as well as tracking the transition to a circular economy for plastics. This will require information on the supply, use, design, collection, trade and end-of-life treatment of plastics, amongst other life cycle phases. Tracking all resources entering the economy from the environment, within the economy (including circular systems) and emissions into the environment will provide clarity on the contribution of plastics (both positive and negative) to the triple planetary crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss.

      This session will provide insights into the processes undertaken in existing indicator frameworks and the challenges involved in developing indicators that are both relevant and feasible at the national, regional and global levels. These include the UN Regional Seas, the System of Environmental- Economic Accounting, the CBD Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the UNCTAD trade database and the Basel Convention Toolkit for plastic waste inventories, among others. Discussions will focus on lessons learned and the feasibility of disaggregating plastics data from the current indicators of relevance to the life cycle of plastics."

    • Track ID

      TS-1.17

      Title

      Stories and lessons from around the world: How monitoring can help inform actions to tackle marine litter (Part 2 of 2)
  • TRACK 2

    Research (19 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-2.1

      Title

      ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT FRAMEWORKS FOR DETERMINING THE RISK TO NATURAL RESOURCES FROM MARINE DEBRIS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Carlie Herring (Research Analyst, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA] Marine Debris Program/Lynker Technologies), Wonjoon Shim (Principal Research Scientist, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology [KIOST])

      Short description

      This session will highlight frameworks and approaches for assessing risk to natural resources from marine debris including quantitative and qualitative approaches to risk assessment, demonstrated through research and case studies.

      Full description

      The overall goal of this session is to gain a better understanding of the types and utility of various ecological risk assessment frameworks and how these may be adapted to assess risk to marine and freshwater resources from marine debris. We welcome presentations that have applied or modified ecological risk assessment (ERA) frameworks currently employed to address risk assessment approaches for marine debris. Presentations will also address the importance of the following ERA processes: problem formulation (including, identifying research and management questions, defining your study region, and identifying assessment endpoints), constructing conceptual frameworks, identifying and characterizing exposure (environmental exposure levels) and effects (from dose-response data to derive 'safe' concentrations/doses for ecosystem), and finally calculating risk and evaluating uncertainty and sensitivity of the risk calculations. Presenters will also discuss data considerations (how to utilize different types of datasets, assigning causality, dealing with gaps/uncertainty, etc.), risk assessment and risk management applications, and the importance of scale (temporal, spatial, biological).

      Through this session we hope to answer the following questions: What are the different types of ERA and the benefits and limitations of each? Why is it important to construct conceptual frameworks prior to conducting a risk assessment? What types of tools can and should be incorporated into marine debris research to facilitate risk assessment (lessons learned from other fields)? How to incorporate different types of environmental data into risk assessments? An additional outcome of this session is to connect researchers in both fields and encourage collaboration on future studies.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.2

      Title

      INLAND TO THE OCEAN: EVALUATING SOURCES, PATHWAYS, FATE AND TRANSPORT FROM UPSTREAM TO PREVENT OCEAN PLASTIC

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Amy Uhrin (Chief Scientist, NOAA Marine Debris Program), Jenna Jambeck (Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering University of Georgia). Contributors: Carlie Herring (Research Analyst, NOAA Marine Debris Program/Lynker Technologies)

      Short description

      Rivers and associated upstream watersheds are presented as important locations to analyze and model the fate and transport of plastic, to characterize inputs, flows, and to inform policy- and decision-making.

      Full description

      While the movement of marine debris has been relatively well studied in oceanic surface waters, the fate and transport of debris in rivers and other upstream sources is less studied. Rivers and estuaries are known transporters of marine debris to coastal waters. However the processes involved in the transport of marine debris in riverine systems, estuaries, and bays are not as well understood, though research on this topic is emerging. These systems have many complexities that may affect the ultimate fate and transport of debris, including physical factors, such as wind, waves, tidal influences, currents, and frontal zones between estuarine and coastal ecosystems; biological factors, such as biofilms, or even submerged aquatic vegetation that may result in the settling of debris to sediments; as well as the shape, size and profile of a specific river/estuary/bay.

      In this session we invite presentations that delve into the fate and transport of marine debris focusing on upstream to downstream sources and pathways. Presentations in this session will investigate and identify the critical input pathways for marine debris introduction into the coastal zone (e.g., surface runoff, stormwater discharge, wind-driven transport, etc.), evaluate factors that may influence riverine transport downstream, as well as any sinks or transformation processes (e.g., degradation and fragmentation of debris) that may occur during transport.

      Preventing plastic and other anthropogenic litter from entering rivers protects the entire watershed and people living in it. Ultimately, to prevent and mitigate marine debris from entering the ocean, we need to understand the sources, evaluate pathways in which debris may enter the aquatic environment, and any sinks that remove debris from these pathways. Research on the fate and transport of debris from upstream sources and pathways to downstream coastal waters will also improve our understanding and estimation of how much debris is transported to coastal waters from inland sources, informing mass balance equations of debris inputs and sinks in the environment. Data from these projects can also inform policy- and decision-making for reducing plastic inputs upstream.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.3

      Title

      OCEANIC PLASTIC DEBRIS HITCHHIKERS—DIVERSITY IN THE PLASTISPHERE ORGANISMS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Seung Won JUNG (Principal Research Scientist / KIOST), Jung-Hoon KANG (Principal Research Scientist / KIOST)

      Short description

      As plastic debris in the marine environment continues to increase, potential ecological disturbances are of increasing concern. Presentations will address the ecosystem disturbances and/or the diversity of plastisphere organisms.

      Full description

      As plastic debris in the marine environment continues to increase, potential ecological disturbances, such as pathogen transport, are of increasing concern. However, few detailed, systematic studies have assessed the interactions and potential impacts of the attachment of marine organisms including pathogens to plastic debris. The overall goal of this session is to gain a better understanding of the various types of plastic debris and the diversity of plastic habitats through their attached substrate specificity. We welcome presentations on the diversity of plastisphere organisms inhabiting various plastic debris. Presentations will also address the ecosystem disturbances of plastisphere organisms.

      From a mechanistic perspective, growing evidence suggests that plastic debris represent a potential reservoir of ecological disturbances as well as pathogens. Scientists do not currently know which microbe species constitute the Plastisphere. Interactions among microbes and between microbes and plastics are also currently unknown. This lack of knowledge requires immediate attention. Furthermore, the overarching effects that this may cause for any potential transfer to bivalve aquaculture facilities are yet to be described. Improving understanding of the Plastisphere is essential to determine how plastic debris is impacting marine life so that we can successfully protect the ecosystem.

      Through this session we hope to answer several questions. What is the diversity of plastisphere organisms on plastic substrate-specificity? What analytical methodologies can improve the resolution of research results? How can these findings be incorporated in ecosystem assessments and studies of ecosystem disturbance? An additional outcome of this session is to connect researchers in both fields and encourage collaboration on future studies.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.4

      Title

      BEHAVIOR AND FATE OF NANO- AND MICROPLASTICS IN THE ATMOSPHERE AND OCEAN

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Wonjoon Shim (Principal Research Scientist / Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology), Chengjun Sun (First Institute of Oceanography)

      Short description

      This session will address the mechanism and relative importance of environmental processes governing behavior and fate of nano- and microplastics in the atmosphere and ocean.

      Full description

      The overall goal of this session is to gain a better understanding of the behavior and fate of nano- and microplastics introduced to the atmosphere and ocean. Nano- and microplastics are emitted from various sources to atmosphere and ocean or produced by weathering in the ocean from large plastic particles. It is expected that nano- and microplastic will experience very complex processes in these two different media, but there has still been a big scientific knowledge gap in this research field.

      This session welcomes presentations that reveal environmental processes influencing the behavioral aspects and fate of nano- and microplastics in atmosphere and ocean. Presentations may address the importance of the following environmental processes and relative contribution of environmental factors with relation to physicochemical properties of plastic particles. In the atmosphere, these processes and factors include lifting/ejection mechanisms from land and ocean, horizontal and vertical movement, photochemical reaction and weathering, and wet/dry deposition mechanisms. In the ocean, these processes and factors include biological interaction (aggregation, biofouling, ingestion and feces ejection, and ingestion and vertical migration) related to sinking, sinking flux, fragmentation by natural weathering, and resuspension and burial in seafloor sediment. Development and running practice of environmental fate model of nano- and microplastics is also welcomed.

      Through this session we hope to answer the following questions: What are the major environmental process governing the fate of nano- and microplastics in the atmosphere and ocean? What are unknown and important fate so far? What type of environmental process should be incorporated and parameterized in a nano- and microplastic environment fate model? Answers to these questions will provide comprehensive knowledge and foster more in-depth research on the behavior and fate of nano- and microplastics in the atmosphere and ocean.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.5

      Title

      MARINE LITTER POLLUTION IN THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA: ASSESSING ITS DISTRIBUTION AND POTENTIAL IMPACTS IN MARINE ECOSYSTEMS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Carme Alomar (IEO-CSIC), Giuseppe Suaria (CNR)

      Short description

      This session invites contributions regarding the quantification and identification of litter from the sea surface to the seafloor and from the micro to the macro scale as well as the potential impacts of marine litter in ecosystems.

      Full description

      The Mediterranean Sea is a hotspot for biodiversity with unique geologic, biogeographic, physical and ecological features but it is also very susceptible to human pressures given its geographical and political situation. There is already scientific evidence that the Mediterranean Sea is one of the most polluted seas worldwide.

      This session invites scientists conducting research in the Mediterranean region to share their results on marine litter pollution in this semi-enclosed basin hardly impacted by human pressures. Topics of interest include the quantification and identification of marine litter in the marine environment from the sea surface to the seafloor and from the micro to the macro scale as well as the potential impacts of marine litter such as ingestion, entanglement, colonization and physiological effects, amongst others, in ecosystems and key Mediterranean species.

      Finally, this session is also focused on the risk assessment of marine litter both at the local and the wider regional level. This technical session is in line with national and international policies aiming at the reduction and mitigation of marine litter and at a global scale with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This latter has a specific goal focused on the sustainability of seas and oceans: Goal 14: ‘Conserve and sustainably use of the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, also named as ‘Life below water'.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.6

      Title

      ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND OCEAN PLASTIC LITTER: IMPACTS, MANAGEMENT, AND GOVERNANCE

      Format

      Presentation with possible panel discussion and facilitated breakout activity

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Juliano Calil (Senior Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy; Adjunct Professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, California, USA; Chief Scientist and Co-Founder at Virtual Planet Technologies), Jessica Vandenberg (Postdoctoral Scholar, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, University of Washington).

      Short description

      Marine plastic litter disproportionately impacts socially vulnerable populations. This panel intends to shed light on current challenges of addressing marine plastic and explore strategies to reduce social and environmental impacts.

      Full description

      Marine plastic pollution is a growing concern globally. An estimated 8 million tons of plastics end up in the ocean each year, negatively impacting the environment and society. However, the burdens of these impacts are often disproportionately experienced by communities that are marginalized and most vulnerable to the impacts of plastic pollution. In this session, we will discuss the inequitable impacts of plastic pollution that stem from our global reliance on plastics, potential paths forward, and the critical data and skills needed to address this crisis. Our goal is to shed light on the interconnectedness of environmental and social issues as it pertains to plastic pollution and its leakage into the marine environment, and thus the challenges that these complexities pose for equitable governance actions.

      The session will begin with presentations from the authors of two reports on equity and justice in plastic pollution: the UNEP report titled “NEGLECTED: Environmental Justice Impacts of Plastic Pollution” and the forthcoming report “The Equity Puzzle of Marine Plastic Pollution” produced by the Nippon Foundation’s Ocean Nexus Center. Following the presentation, the session chairs will moderate a brief panel discussion/Q&A with attendees including other leaders in environmental justice and plastics that will be invited to attend the session.

      Next, audience members will be invited to a short participatory exercise in which they can share their experiences with plastic pollution, challenges they face in addressing this threat, and potential avenues for collaboration. We have successfully applied this exercise in a previous session. Our ultimate goal is to ground the field of marine debris in equity and justice where all voices are welcomed and respected, starting a new chapter of marine plastics science and governance.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.7

      Title

      Transport, mixing, and fate of plastic pollution in the ocean (Part 1 of 2)

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Xia [Alice] Zhu (PhD Candidate, University of Toronto Scarborough), Kara Lavender Law (Research Professor of Oceanography, Sea Education Association). Contributors: Laura Gomez Navarro (Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, Utrecht University), Yong-Hoon Kim, Matthew Hoffman (Rochester Institute of Technology), Young-Gyu Park (Principal Scientist / Ocean Circulation Research Center, Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology), Jun-Myoung Choi (Assistant Professor / Department of Ocean Engineering, Pukyong National University).

      Short description

      This session focuses on field monitoring, laboratory experimenting, and numerical modeling studies that advance our understanding of plastic transport, mixing, and fate in the global ocean.

      Full description

      Plastic pollution has become a major pollutant in aquatic environments, particularly in the ocean, and has resulted in a wide spectrum of adverse environmental impacts in coastal and ocean environments. In order to elucidate the risks that plastic poses to living organisms, to constrain the global mass budget of plastic debris, and to inform science-based management plans for plastic pollution, we need to better understand their abundance, distribution, transport, and fate in the ocean.

      The transport and fate of plastic pollution in the marine environment are influenced by various processes including physical hydrodynamic processes (including advection by currents, waves, and wind, vertical ocean mixing, settling, resuspension, beaching, etc.) as well as weathering processes (physical, chemical, and/or biological in nature). To this day, there still remain many gaps in our understanding of the behaviour of plastic debris in the global ocean, including in coastal zones, on the ocean surface, and below the ocean surface.

      Our session will serve two purposes – first, to bring together a variety of experts in the field of microplastics transport research to discuss and outline the current state of knowledge on transport and mixing mechanisms of microplastics in the ocean; and second, to showcase research related to plastic transport and fate in the ocean from recent years. We welcome the submission of studies using numerical modelling, field sampling, remote sending, laboratory methods, and other techniques that better our understanding of one or more of the following topics:

      • horizontal and/or vertical movement of microplastics in the water column
      • turbulent mixing of microplastics in the surface boundary layer
      • sinking, beaching and resuspension of microplastics in the bottom boundary layer or coastal zone
      • breakdown, fragmentation, degradation, biofouling, and aggregation of microplastics in marine environments
      • coastal areas as emitters, receivers, and reservoirs of plastic debris
      • laboratory experiments used to study specific coastal processes, such as Stokes drift, wave-induced motion, and fragmentation of plastic debris
      • remote sensing technologies, including on drones and satellites, used in the detection and quantification of plastic debris along coastlines and in water

      We look forward to your submissions.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.8

      Title

      IMPACTS OF PLASTIC MARINE DEBRIS ON MARINE WILDLIFE

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Sang Hee Hong (Research Scientist / Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology), Katherine Shaw (Postdoctoral Researcher, National Institute of Standards and Technology)

      Short description

      This session focuses on how plastic debris effects or interact with marine wildlife in the marine environment.

      Full description

      The production of plastics has increased steadily since 1950, and global plastic production reached 368 million metric tons in 2019. It is estimated that 15–39% of improperly disposed plastic waste may enter the ocean annually, resulting in plastics being the most abundant type of debris in the ocean. Due to its high persistence in the environment, marine plastic debris is a significant threat to marine wildlife and marine ecosystems. The Convention on Biological Diversity reported that more than 800 species had interacted with marine debris through physical entanglement and ingestion, and over 80% of these effects were associated with plastic debris (Kühn and van Franeker, 2020; SCBD, 2012). To prevent and mitigate marine debris and its adverse impacts, it is important to understand the current status and characteristics of the impact that marine debris has on marine wildlife.

      This session aims to share the knowledge and research results on the impact of marine debris on marine wildlife. The topics of this session will include: 1) ingestion of marine debris by marine organisms, 2) entanglement of marine organisms in marine debris, 3) their related biological and toxicological effects, 4) methods for the assessment of ingestion, entanglement, and biological effects, and 5) behavioral response (visual or olfactory) of marine organism to plastic debris, and so on.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.9

      Title

      IMPACT OF PLASTICS ON HIGHER LEVELS OF BIOLOGICAL ORGANIZATION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Beth Polidoro (Asssociate Professor, Arizona State University), Dr. Matthew Cole (Senior Marine Ecologist & Ecotoxicologist, Plymouth Marine Laboratory). Contributors: Dr. Chelsea Rochman (Associate Professor, University of Toronto), Erin Murphy (PhD Candidate, Arizona State University).

      Short description

      This session invites international research teams to share novel research exploring the harm and risk plastic pollution poses on higher levels of biological organization, including individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems.

      Full description

      Plastic debris is a prolific anthropogenic contaminant, impacting upon terrestrial, freshwater, and marine habitats across the globe. Over the past few decades, there has been increasing evidence that plastics and fibres can cause sub-lethal health effects to organisms. However, there is paucity of evidence demonstrating that plastics can impact higher levels of biological organisation (i.e. apical endpoints for individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems); such data is required for the development of risk assessments and motivating policy change.

      For 7IMDC, we invite international research teams to share novel studies that explore the effects of plastics and fibres on higher levels of biological organisation in terrestrial, freshwater, or marine biomes. The session will comprise presentations encompassing: experiments and models that identify mechanisms by which plastics cause harm at higher levels of biological organisation; ecotoxicological studies demonstrating the impact of plastics on apical endpoints (e.g. reproduction, growth, survival), communities, ecosystems or ecosystem services; and the development of ecologically relevant risk assessment for plastics. The scientific research will look to help determine the risk plastics and fibres pose to natural environments, with a keen focus on data relevant to policy change.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.10

      Title

      LATEST RESEARCH INTO MICROPLASTIC DEBRIS POLLUTION OF FRESHWATER SYSTEMS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Dr. Lorena M. Rios Mendoza (Professor, University of Wisconsin Superior), Dr. Alexander Kunz (Research Fellow, Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taiwan). Contributors: Patricia Corcoran (Professor, University of Western Ontario Canada) Collaborators : Dr. Falk Schneider (Research Fellow, Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University.)

      Short description

      This session focuses on microplastics in freshwater systems, presenting the latest research and monitoring enable determination of sources, pathways, and sinks for microplastics.

      Full description

      Microplastic particles are common pollutants in freshwater systems, such as lakes, tributaries, and both natural and human-built ponds. The plastic debris items are stored in various matrices including water, sediment/soil and biota. Different freshwater basins retain plastic debris depending on a host of factors, such as water energy and depth (pathways), proximity to high population areas and plastic industry (sources), and geomorphological features (sinks). Although there are similarities in the debris types and sizes identified from each matrix, employing identical sampling and processing protocols is not always feasible. This does not mean that research should not continue, as all data concerning microplastic pollution are valuable in addressing the plastic pollution issue. Analysis of plastic debris for pollutants also contributes to the broader picture of impact on biota and their ecosystems.

      We invite contributions that provide novel and insightful data from freshwater compartments that indicate the potential sources, pathways and processes that influence microplastic deposition. Organized into 5-minute speed talks and posters, the session will also allow for discussion between researchers. This session will be an appropriate companion to investigations of microplastic pollution in ocean-based marine debris.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.11

      Title

      MEASURING THE IMPACTS OF MICRO- AND NANOPLASTICS IN COMBINATION WITH OTHER ANTHROPOGENIC STRESSORS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Rachel Giles (PhD Candidate, University of Toronto), Susanne Brander, Ph.D (Oregon State University, Assistant Professor). Contributors: Bonnie Hamilton (University of Toronto, PhD Candidate), Elise Granek (Portland State University, Professor)

      Short description

      The session will highlight empirical and theoretical research investigating the effects of micro- and nanoplastics and other anthropogenic stressors on aquatic taxa at multiple levels of biological organization.

      Full description

      Microplastics and their smaller counterparts, nanoplastics, are a complex suite of pollutants that interact with abiotic (e.g., increasing temperature, salinity) and biotic (e.g., invasive species, biofilms) stressors in the environment. Together, these multiple stressor mixtures exert a wide array of effects on aquatic taxa at multiple levels of biological organization. Though many studies have documented effects of commercially produced micro and nanoscopic synthetic particles (MNPs), large gaps remain in understanding the potential impacts of environmentally relevant MNPs such as fibers and tire wear particles, on taxa ranging from freshwater to open ocean species. We also have few data on responses to weathered plastics, which are far more commonly encountered than virgin particles, and our understanding of the potential effect of associated plastic additives and other pollutants is in its infancy. Furthermore, given the number of combinations of * polymer types, shapes, additives (e.g., plasticizers, UV stabilizers, flame retardants, etc.) and sorbed contaminants from the environment (e.g., PCBs, PAHs, pathogens), further research is needed to elucidate the combined effects and multi-dimensionality of this growing problem. Considering all of these challenges under the umbrella of climate change is critical.

      Presentations addressing multi-stressor effects of micro and nanoscopic synthetic particles with consideration of one or more of the aspects related to additional stressors discussed above, across diverse taxa and scales are welcome. The session will highlight empirical and theoretical research investigating MNP exposure and effects that can be extended to the assessment of risk. Studies that examine the combined effects of microplastics and climate change-related stressors or phenomena, such as alterations in ocean currents, acidification, hypoxia, increased temperature, varied salinity, sea-level rise, or changing species interactions, either experimentally or using modeling approaches, are also welcome.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.12

      Title

      CHEMICALS AND PATHOGENS ASSOCIATED WITH PLASTIC: IMPLICATIONS FOR HUMAN HEALTH

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Nur Hazimah (Research Fellow, Nanyang Technological University), Richard Quilliam (Professor, University of Stirling)

      Short description

      Plastics and microplastics acting as vectors for chemicals and/or human pathogens and the subsequent human health effect.

      Full description

      Plastics, including microplastics (1‒5,000 µm), are ubiquitous in our environment. In the average lifetime (70 years), a human could potentially accumulate several thousand microplastics particles. While the toxicity of microplastics has been widely studied, little is known about the potential for these particles to also act as vectors for chemicals and/or human pathogens and the subsequent human health effect.

      Plastics are often associated with chemicals from manufacturing (e.g., additives such as plasticizers) but can also sorb chemicals (hydrophobic organic chemicals or metals) from their surrounding media. Modelling and laboratory in vitro studies have been used to understand the potential chemical risks associated with microplastic ingestion. However, whether chemicals bound to microplastics can actually be transferred to humans and is a major pathway for chemical bioaccumulation, are areas of active debate. Importantly, environmentally weathered plastics have different physicochemical properties from virgin plastics (which have been used in most previous studies), and the ageing processes is likely to affect the transfer of these plastic-associated chemicals. Marine plastic debris can also be colonized by a diverse range of microorganisms (including potential human pathogens and genes for antimicrobial resistance) that make up the so-called 'plastisphere'. It has been hypothesized that binding to plastics, including microplastics, can increase the persistence, transport, and dissemination of pathogens in the environment and therefore amplify the risk of exposure to humans via recreational bathing waters or by acting as vectors for pathogens into foods such as shellfish. Therefore, there is an urgent need to quantify the risks associated with pathogens binding to plastics and fully understand the effects of particle size and polymer type on the fate of pathogens, and/or co-pollutants, and the risk of human exposure during the continuum, from source to sea.

      This session aims to highlight studies that focus on: 1) analytical methods to detect chemicals and/or pathogens on plastic and microplastic; 2) experimental design and models for quantifying the transfer and effects of plastic-associated chemicals when ingested by humans; 3) colonization of plastics by human pathogens and their persistence during environmental stress; 4) fate, transport, and risk assessments of plastic-associated chemicals and pathogens in the environment."

    • Track ID

      TS-2.13

      Title

      CHEMISTRY TO UNDERSTAND QUANTITIES, SOURCES, TRANSPORT, FATE, IMPACTS, AND SOLUTIONS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jennifer Lynch (Research Biologist, National Institute of Standards and Technology), John Kucklick (Supervisory Chemist, National Institute of Standards and Technology)

      Short description

      Chemical methods, technology, and innovations are needed to provide fundamental answers to questions regarding plastic pollution already in the environment and circular solutions to prevent pollution.

      Full description

      Plastic pollution, of all sizes from nano to mega, is a global problem and increasing every year. Synthetic polymers have diverse molecular structures, additives, environmental transport and fates, contaminant affinities, degradation rates, impacts on exposed organisms, and waste streams. Chemical techniques are developing to answer fundamental questions related to plastic pollution and to prevent it through circular recycling solutions.

      This session aims to highlight chemical technologies and innovations that encompass these diverse topics. Topics may include: 1) improved methods to quantify nano- and microplastics in complex environmental samples and in exposure assessments for toxicity testing, 2) development of chemical documentary or material standards, 3) investigations into the fate of additive chemicals and other contaminants sorbed onto plastic debris, 4) measurements of weathering rates and processes, 5) innovations for recycling post-consumer plastic or pollution removed from the environment. Because chemistry is the basis for all of these plastic pollution research and solution research, this session will share new developments, exchange lessons learned, encourage coordination and co-development of solutions.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.14

      Title

      CAR TIRE PARTICLES AS A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO GLOBAL MICROPLASTIC POLLUTION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Dorte Herzke (Senior researcher; NILU), Claudia Halsband (Senior Researcher, Akvaplan Niva)

      Short description

      Recent developments in quantifying and characterizing car tire particles (CTPs), their transport, transformation, chemical leaching and associated environmental impact in terrestrial and aquatic systems.

      Full description

      Every year, 1.7 billion new vehicle tires are produced world-wide, and at the same time, >1 billion tires reach their end of life and enter waste streams. While in use, an average car tire is expected to lose ~1.5 kg in mass, corresponding to an estimated release of 1.3 million tons of tire wear particles (TWPs) annually in the EU alone. These emissions have been identified as a pressing environmental challenge at both national, EU and international levels (e.g. OECD). Despite continued efforts to eliminate fossil fuel exhaust from traffic and increase 'green' urbanization, the electrification of car, truck, and even airplane fleets will not decrease non-exhaust particle emissions. Understanding TWP emissions and their subsequent environmental fate and ecotoxicological impact remains a research challenge. Knowledge of TWP emissions and their effects has relevance for public health in urban centres, as well as vulnerable remote ecosystems impacted through long-range transport (LRT) of TWPs with air and ocean currents.

      TWPs range from 10 nm to several 100 µm in size, with soils and waterways being the main receiving environmental compartments. TWPs consist mainly of synthetic styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) plus an intentionally added complex mixture of organic and inorganic additive chemicals, including heavy metals (especially zinc). As TWPs are difficult to source, and few standard materials are available to date, experimental studies on composition, behavior and toxicity of SBR products have often used crumb rubber granulates as surrogates. These enable exposure experiments with both rubber particles and their leachates, containing toxic chemicals used in tires. Toxic effects vary across exposed species, functional groups and environmental compartments, and need to be better characterized and understood.

      Work on CTPs as a special category of microplastics is a young field of research. This session will bring scientists and students together that have focused on TWP, crumb rubber granulates, and other rubber products. The session will give an overview of the latest findings on the environmental fate of the particles themselves and the chemicals released from them, and discuss advances in combining field data, laboratory experiments, chemical analyses, exposure studies and modelling approaches.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.15

      Title

      PLASTIC PULSE OF THE PUBLIC

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Dr. Britta Baechler (Senior Manager, Ocean Plastics Research, Ocean Conservancy), Dr. Tony Walker (Associate Professor, School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University)

      Short description

      This session on survey-based social research examines how people use plastics that ultimately pollute the ocean, and sheds light on public knowledge, perceptions and concerns about ocean plastic pollution.

      Full description

      Plastics enter the ocean as a result of human activities and mismanagement. Plastic uses, perceptions and underlying knowledge about marine plastic pollution invariably differ among individuals and across different jurisdictions, but targeted research can help identify trends and solutions to reduce plastic use and plastic pollution. Social research tools (structured questionnaires, interviews, surveys and focus groups) allow us to measure individual consumer actions and gauge concerns about subsequent impacts of mismanaged plastics to the environment, wildlife, water, food, and human health.

      Although upstream plastic production is predicted to increase, this session is designed to better understand the downstream, consumer-specific uses and consumption of plastics (particularly single-use items), as well as public understanding of how plastic waste is managed and its impacts if it is mismanaged. In this session, presenters will highlight survey-based research of varied formats (online, email, panel, social media, paper, mobile, telephone), providing new insights about public opinion related to the pervasive ocean plastic pollution problem. Diverse presentations focusing on evaluation of public attitudes, behaviors, perceptions, actions and attributes, and comparisons of survey results by demographics of participants (e.g., age, gender, location, income, education, level of environmental awareness) are particularly welcome. "

    • Track ID

      TS-2.16

      Title

      MASS AND MATERIAL BALANCE APPROACH TO QUANTIFYING PLASTIC FLOWS

      Format

      Presentation-based with possible panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Thomas Maes (GRId-Arendal), Jenna Jambeck (University of Georgia)

      Short description

      The purpose of this session is to discuss mass balance and materials flow approaches to plastic pollution and to engage attendees all over the world interested in, working on, and with, this approach.

      Full description

      Plastic pollution is a global transboundary issue. Analysis of available field studies have identified a significant lack of data needed to construct a simple mass balance box model for plastic pollution. Plastics produced or plastic waste generated in one part of the world have been documented across the globe, even in uninhabited areas. Fundamental information on plastic mass input, transfer and sink terms are simply not available. Also unknown are the rates of accumulation in different environments, the dispersal pathways of plastic particles of different density, the residence times of plastic in the water column and the rate at which macroplastics are transformed into microplastics in different environments.

      The risk of plastic pollution on various regions and areas are interdependent with all regions of the world, so a global understanding of the mass flow of plastics, from production – to use – to waste – to environmental contamination, is important when considering solutions to the issue. Filling these information gaps is critical for states to determine adequate response measures, including developing and tracking impact of policies to deal with the problem of plastic pollution.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.17

      Title

      DEBRIS ACCUMULATION IN WETLANDS: SINKS & PHYSICAL IMPACTS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Amy V. Uhrin Chief Scientist (NOAA Marine Debris Program). Carlie E. Herring (Research Analyst, Lynker Technologies)

      Short description

      This session will highlight coastal wetlands as sinks for marine debris and the physical impacts associated with debris stranding on or becoming buried in wetlands.

      Full description

      A growing body of research is documenting the accumulation of marine debris in coastal wetlands (e.g., seagrass, mangroves, salt marsh) indicating that they may serve as possible sinks for marine debris, and should be considered in any mass balance assessment. However, there is a lack of data in this regard. Additionally, the accumulation of marine debris in wetlands can alter and degrade these critical habitats through physical damage caused by abrasion, shearing, or smothering, and through alteration of the physical and chemical composition of sediments which can impair critical nursery, refuge, and forage habitat for many marine fauna. Changes in marine and coastal habitats can alter complex ecosystems and ultimately affect provision of ecosystem services afforded by these habitat elements (i.e., carbon sequestration). Damage to many habitat-forming foundation species by marine debris has not yet been fully characterized.

      In this session we welcome presentations that quantify the accumulation of marine debris in wetlands as a means to improve mass balance assessments. Presentations will also quantify the extent of damage to habitat (i.e., area impacted, number of individuals impacted, mortality of individuals) from marine debris, estimate ecosystem service impairment as a result of the damage, monitor recovery of habitat upon removal of debris, and assign value to ecosystem services gained through recovery.

      Knowledge of the amount of debris potentially stored in wetlands as well as the impacts of marine debris and the benefit to the environment following removal can help inform resource managers in directing limited restoration funds to projects that produce the greatest gains in ecosystem services.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.18

      Title

      ALL YOU CAN EAT: MARINE DEBRIS AND FOOD WEBS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Tommaso Valente (PhD Student - ‘La Sapienza’ University of Rome, Department of Environmental Biology; Associate Researcher - ISPRA, Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research), Cecilia Silvestri (Researcher - ISPRA, Italian National Institute for Environmental Protection and Research)

      Short description

      The session accepts contributions analyzing the impact of marine debris from an ecological perspective. Encouraged attendances include studies oriented to understanding the pathways of marine debris through the food webs.

      Full description

      Since the 1950s, the establishment of a consumption-based human society determined the release of great quantities of wastes into oceans and seas. In the aquatic media, marine debris can sorb many kinds of both organic and inorganic pollutants, including also toxic and carcinogenic substances. At the same time, a wide variety of marine animals can ingest marine debris either accidently, or intentionally (i.e., by confusing particles with natural preys), as well as a result of secondary ingestion (i.e., items already ingested by prey). Therefore, marine debris can act as a vector of hazardous contaminants through the marine food webs, posing threats to the ecosystems functioning.

      The comprehension of the pathways that marine debris follow from sources to sinks and the dynamic of their transfer through the food webs are important knowledge gaps to fill. A full comprehension of mechanisms and patterns that define the fate of marine debris will be useful to support the global action plans to mitigate the impact of marine pollution. Furthermore, describing the relationships between the ingestion of marine debris and the biological and ecological traits of different species is a key step to plan a reliable and widely harmonized monitoring strategy based on bioindicators.

      The session welcomes contributions that analyze the impact of marine debris with a strict ecological perspective. Encouraged topics include, but are not limited to:

      • Marine debris and hazardous chemicals – field and lab studies analyzing marine debris as a vector of harmful contaminants through the marine food webs
      • Uptake of marine debris by living organisms – field investigations and/or theoretical modeling about the influence of ecological and biological traits that could alter the exposure of different marine species to the deleterious effects of marine debris
      • Ecotoxicological effects of marine debris
      • Development of marine debris monitoring strategies – ecologically-oriented proposals for model organisms, bioindicators, and multidisciplinary weight-of-evidence approaches to assess the impact of marine debris on ecosystems

      Even contributions that interlinks marine debris to other emerging environmental issues - such as climate change and invasive species, are welcome. Studies on the occurrence of marine debris in living organisms that lacks in ecological considerations will not be considered.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.19

      Title

      COLLECTION, IDENTIFICATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF MARINE DEBRIS IN SOUTH EAST ASIA

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Suresh Valiyaveettil (National University of Singapore), Suchana Chavanich (Chulalongkorn University)

      Short description

      The proposed symposium will have both short presentations and panel discussions on the collection, identification, monitoring and understanding the impact of marine debris in South East Asia.

      Full description

      The impact of ever increasing marine debris on all aspects of life on earth is a challenging topic with no immediate solutions. Marine debris problem is more serious in South East Asia due to the life style dependence of large population on ocean resources. A significant amount of marine debris is plastic waste, which include discarded nets, bottles, bags and many other used plastic objects. Illegal dumping, plastic litter washed into storm drains and waterways, waste left over on the beaches after recreational activities, wind-blown landfill waste, all contribute to the problem of marine debris. The marine plastic waste undergoes slow degradation and release small particles called microplastics and nanoplastics into the environment. Marine animals unknowingly consume these small particles as food and carry in their body for a long period due to lack of enzymes for degradation of such synthetic particles. Such contamination of microplastic and nanoplastic particles in the marine organisms is beginning to threaten human food security and supply around the world. Already, fish samples and other sea foods are contaminated with significant concentrations of plastic particles. Plastic waste materials also release toxic molecular leachates such as plasticizers, coloring agents and stabilizers into the environment.

      In order to prevent and reduce the amounts of marine debris and pollutants, many governmental and nongovernmental organizations are developing laws and policies, such as Sustainable Development Goal 14 "Life Below Water". It is expected to take much longer time to see any changes on the quantity or the impact of marine debris from such policies. The heavy usage of face masks, single use plastic items in medical and food industries and restrictions on environmental cleanup activities during the current covid pandemic might have enhanced the magnitude of the marine debris. The current symposium will focus on bringing experts in different areas of marine debris and discuss the latest developments in the area.

    • Track ID

      TS-2.20

      Title

      Transport, mixing, and fate of plastic pollution in the ocean (Part 2 of 2)
  • TRACK 3

    Technology and Innovation (10 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-3.1

      Title

      INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY FOR SEARCHING, IDENTIFYING AND RECOVERING MARINE DEBRIS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Stefan Sosnowski (Researcher, Technical University of Munich), Laurent Lebreton (Head of Research, The Ocean Cleanup). Contributors: Gwenaële Coat (Scientific Director, The SeaCleaners), Davide Poletto (Executive Director – Venice Lagoon Plastic Free).

      Short description

      We bring together initiatives addressing the challenge to intercept and remove plastic pollution from waterways and the ocean, providing a platform for exchanging ideas, experience and identifying potential complementary solutions.

      Full description

      The recovery of plastic debris from waterways and the ocean is a challenging endeavor and is seen as the last resort after all the other upstream mitigation strategies have failed. While future efforts should focus on prevention to reduce new inputs, teams of engineers and innovators have started in parallel to deploy technology to extract the legacy pollution. The scope of the challenges associated with marine debris and the cost of addressing them make automated solutions for the search, identification and collection of marine debris particularly promising. A multitude of projects and initiatives innovate on different aspects of the problem, ranging from debris localization and quantification efforts to collection from the surface, water column and seabed. Potential synergies in these multi-disciplinary efforts are important to explore and exploit to significantly advance the state of the art.

      This session will bring together researchers, innovators, organizations and companies to exchange ideas, share experience and lessons learned on the available technology and technological boundaries, ongoing research efforts and available systems. It should be a space to share information on new developments and establish a list of recommendations for the design of the next generation of cleanup technology, maximizing marine debris harvest while limiting bycatch and environmental damage, and reducing the impact on the marine environment and the climate. In particular, we aim at strengthening networks between similar efforts and fostering collaboration on complementary technological solutions, learning from the different recovery strategies and ask relevant questions to address concerns on cleanup activities. For stakeholders and policy makers, this session can serve as a forum on available solutions and direct connection to technology providers.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.2

      Title

      DESIGNING AI DIGITAL EXPERIENCES TO ADDRESS PLASTIC POLLUTION: THE ROLE OF THE PLASTIC POLLUTION ONTOLOGY AND OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

      Format

      Presentation-based with possible user stories, knowledge sharing and live feedback

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Pier Luigi Buttigieg (Ontology Expert, OIC UNESCO OBPS ), Ayan Biswas (Regional Hub Manager, East and Southern Africa; Akvo). Contributors: Dany Ghafari (UNEP, Programme Management Officer), Marta Ottogalli (Affiliate, UNEP).

      Short description

      A collaborative global multi-stakeholder platform to address marine litter and plastic pollution, striving to achieve harmonization through unified definitions of marine litter and plastic pollution terms.

      Full description

      Plastic pollution has received global attention. There is no dearth of information on the perils of plastic. But as the number of actions and initiatives continue to grow, a concerted effort to take stock of data and information becomes necessary.

      The Global Platform on Marine Litter (GPML) Digital Platform is a UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) initiative, attempting to connect stakeholders and curate information relevant to plastic pollution in the digital space. The intent is to use the mechanics of collaboration to influence actions at the policy and practice levels.

      While designing and developing the GPML Digital Platform, UNEP and Akvo focus on an agile and user-centered approach. Frequent user consultations, functionality reviews, and user experimentation sessions are conducted. Monitoring user satisfaction allows to test assumptions, constantly iterate, improve the user experience of the platform, and promote engagement.

      The platform compiles different crowdsourced resources, integrates data, and connects an online community to guide action on marine litter and plastic pollution. Data and information on the platform help stakeholders to connect on ad-hoc and regular basis, create communities, catalyze digital ecosystems, combine marine litter and plastic pollution reduction efforts and compare key indicators per country or region. Since the platform is about curation and creation of a knowledge domain, structural representations, relationships and definitions become useful artifacts.

      Ontology is a formal representation of knowledge- utilizing a graph or network structure, with both human and machine-readable definitions. Logical relationships (axioms) between the terms together define a knowledge domain. Different disciplinary and regional communities often have different definitions for the same terms, and/or the same definitions for different terms. This can lead to difficulties in discovering and integrating data and information. Ontology helps us to manage this semantic ambiguity.

      The UNEP GPML, and Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC UNESCO) support the establishment of the Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution Ontology Community of Practice (CoP), which aims to create a coherent and machine-readable classification for marine litter and plastic pollution. The Ontology CoP has had a pivotal role in connecting experts with ontology developers to ensure the highest possible accuracy and utility of the Marine Litter and Plastic Pollution ontology. A full-fledged Ontology will enable balanced representation of terms utilized by experts, multi-lingual interpretations, interoperability, creation of knowledge graphs, improve the accuracy and fairness of algorithms and AI technologies by creating label standards and beyond.

      This combined session will expose participants to the GPML platform and its ontological foundations. The session will engage participants through presentations, sharing of emergent lessons, user stories and a curated set of experiences. The idea is to let participants engage with the ideas, experience the GPML platform, and become potential users or advocates- both by using the platform themselves and/or expanding the reach of the platform through their networks. Additionally, the session will be used to collect feedback from various experts and participants on identifying key challenges and best practices for managing semantic ambiguity at a global, regional, national, and sub-national level.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.3

      Title

      ADVANCED IDENTIFICATION TOOLS AND REMOVAL STRATEGIES FOR MICRO & NANOPLASTICS POLLUTION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Erika Iveth Cedillo-González (Postdoc researcher, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia), Ludovic Hermabessiere (University of Toronto). Contributors: Keenan Munno (University of Toronto)

      Short description

      Understanding the source and distribution of micro and nanoplastics in the environment is necessary to develop preventive and removal strategies that will decrease environmental inputs.

      Full description

      In recent years, both microplastics (1µm - 5 mm) and nanoplastics (< 1 µm) have garnered attention from scientists, stakeholders, and the general public. Indeed, these small plastic particles are found in every environmental compartment worldwide. In recent years, much research has been done to understand the effects of micro-and nanoplastics on wildlife and humans and their distributions in the environment. Understanding the distribution of both micro and nanoplastics in the environment is necessary as both their sources and environmental fate have to be understood to implement preventive and remediation measures that will decrease environmental inputs and their presence in the environment. For instance, the efforts to develop technologies for micro and nanoplastics removal from the environment have shown that their efficiency depends on their source, which governs their type, composition, size, shape, and pollutant sorption capacity. Knowledge regarding the environmental fate of micro and nanoplastics is also a crucial factor in designing removal technologies, as some strategies are more suitable for removing micro and nanoplastics from aquatic or atmospheric environments (such as adsorption, filtration, oxidation) and others for removing these tiny plastics from terrestrial environments (biodegradation).

      In order to most effectively understand the source of micro-and nanoplastics, these small particles need to be quantified and characterized using robust instrumentation coupled with high-throughput and accurate methods. The most common methods are Fourier-Transform Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), Raman spectroscopy and Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography coupled to Mass Spectrometry (Py-GC/MS). Other techniques such as hyperspectral imaging or other thermoanalytical techniques are also being used with increasing interest. For nanoplastic, it is essential to mention that this field is still in its infancy and that new methods for both their detection and identification/quantification are urgently needed to understand their distribution in the environment.

      This session will be two-fold and welcome presentation (i) of new and advanced methods for the detection, identification and quantification of both micro- and nanoplastics and also presentation (ii) of recent achievements in the design of remediation technologies to reduce microplastic and nanoplastic pollution (including physical, chemical, and biological techniques).

    • Track ID

      TS-3.4

      Title

      TRASH TRAPPING TECHNOLOGIES: COMBATING MARINE DEBRIS, COLLECTING DATA AND RAISING AWARENESS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Hannah De Frond (International Trash Trap Network Coordinator, Ocean Conservancy & University of Toronto Trash Team), Vien Tran (Vietnam Senior Manager at Ocean Conservancy). Contributors: Chelsea Rochman (University of Toronto & University of Toronto Trash Team), Chever Voltmer (Ocean Conservancy), Britta Baechler (Ocean Conservancy), Sarah Kollar (Ocean Conservancy).

      Short description

      This session explores the value of trash traps for combating marine debris, and how they can be a unique tool for research, monitoring, education, and outreach in different scenarios.

      Full description

      While there is no silver bullet solution, to mitigate further rises in plastic pollution we must utilize a combination of management and mitigation measures (e.g., waste reduction, waste management, and cleanup), and we must act now. Ambitious goals to tackle marine debris are emerging at local and global scales. Although upstream solutions should be prioritized, cleanup is currently required as a management tool to reduce the amount of waste that pollutes and persists in the environment. In recent years, numerous trash trap devices have been developed and many are currently in use around the world, actively collecting and diverting waste from aquatic environments.

      Collectively these devices are capturing impressive amounts of waste every year, and they provide several additional benefits. In deciding on a trash trapping location, pollution hotspots are identified. Data collected on the amount and types of waste that are collected using trash traps can be used to monitor pollution levels over time, inform research, and lead to data-driven policymaking. Trash traps can also be a unique point of interest, engaging members of the public as an opportunity to educate people of all ages about the issue of plastic pollution, and available solutions in action right on their doorstep.

      Within this session we aim to highlight the value of installing trash traps in different locations around the world by demonstrating their effectiveness for waste reduction and assisting cleanup efforts, but also for data collection and awareness. We will present the efforts of the International Trash Trap Network to demonstrate how local solutions can be connected to tackle global plastic pollution, and showcase the use of trash traps in Vietnam as an example of efficient efforts to support the country combating marine plastic debris as well as its National Action Plan on Marine Plastic Waste Management.

      The goal of this session is to share information on the experiences and uses of trash traps locally from different stakeholder perspectives, to inform future efforts and to inspire further action and collaboration globally. We invite presenters from a variety of stakeholder groups to share their experiences of installing a trash trap device as a local solution to pollution, including groups who have utilized the data collected from trash traps for scientific or educational purposes, or even to inform policy.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.5

      Title

      SATELLITE AND AIRBORNE REMOTE SENSING OF MARINE AND COASTAL LITTER

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Manuel Arias (Earth Observation Scientist, Institut de Ciències del Mar [ICM – CSIC], Spain), Peter Murphy Regional Coordinator [Alaska], NOAA Marine Debris Program). Contributors: Shungu Garaba (University of Oldenburg), Mark Manuel (NOAA Marine Debris Program), Paolo Corradi (ESA), José Moutinho (AIR Centre)

      Short description

      Most significant advances, limitations and future of airborne and satellite Remote Sensing technologies and techniques for the detection of marine litter and debris.

      Full description

      Better understanding the amount, composition and location of marine debris has important applications in understanding the sources, pathways, impacts, and optimal solutions for marine debris. Remote sensing for aerial and spaceborn surveys, have the proven capacity to provide high-quality products that aid in assessing the presence, concentration and composition of debris on shore and in nearshore environments. The use of georeferenced information to quantify marine debris goes back decades, but has continued to evolve; integrating new technologies and techniques to provide more capable, scalable, and accessible products and tools, with the help of emerging research that is the focus of several international projects. Many of these are centered in assessing the detection capabilities of different technologies and techniques, from space and airborne platforms, and for both direct and indirect observations of marine debris and, in particular, plastic pollution, in aquatic and shoreline environments, with special emphasis in marine and coastal regions. In the last five years, this area of research and engineering has seen substantial development, which is very relevant for the marine litter community: Remote sensing is an important tool by which acquisition of global data and provision of routine monitoring can be achieved, at the spatial and time scales needed for fully understanding and budgeting of marine litter and debris. In addition, remote sensing technologies, especially UAS, can be some of the most affordable and low-cost solutions within reach of developing countries, where provision of other monitoring systems could be costly or very difficult to implement.

      Remote sensing technologies aim to provide capability to contribute to the elaboration of indicators to measure the impact of mitigation strategies, as agreed by the international community and UNEP on this decadal global sustainability objective.

      This session will present some of the most significant advances that have been achieved in recent years; it will highlight the current technical limitations to be overcome; and it will discuss the most promising remote sensing approaches in terms of present and future technologies and techniques. The session aims at providing an evidence-based perspective on what could be achieved in terms of detection capability of marine litter with remote sensors in the short and medium term, what are the identified technical gaps, and what realistic technologies and techniques could be most effective for contributing to the monitoring and resolution of this environmental problem, consequently helping to better quantify and understand the scope of the issue, direct future research initiatives, and prioritize and focus removal efforts.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.6

      Title

      BLUE ENTREPRENEURSHIP FOR MARINE PLASTIC

      Format

      Panel discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Hanna Dijkstra (PhD Candidate - Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)

      Short description

      Blue entrepreneurs are focused on capturing economic revenue and delivering economic benefits using innovative business models, and this session invites researchers and entrepreneurs to discuss the emerging marine plastic management industry.

      Full description

      Entrepreneurs working to tackle marine challenges are contributing to the Blue Economy by developing new technologies, services and products that can stimulate economic growth and deliver environmental benefits. A subset of these blue entrepreneurs is focused specifically on the problem of marine plastic pollution. Entrepreneurs can be more radical than established corporations, more flexible than civil society organisations and act faster than governments. Therefore, they can quickly move to fill an unexploited niche in the market, for example by providing a needed marine plastic management service. Entrepreneurs also must operate within markets, and may face challenges with competition, developing a viable business, finding customers and establishing new supply chains.

      Through their business development, entrepreneurs are shaping and influencing their environments and networks. Entrepreneurs have been crucial in raising awareness about marine plastic pollution, interacting with policymakers, and developing knowledge on the state of the problem and efficiency of solutions. They also may encourage behavioural change by offering new types of products and services. Entrepreneurs are therefore important not only for the businesses they develop, but also through their interactions and influence on key stakeholders as well as society at large.

      This session invites entrepreneurs and researchers to discuss the emerging marine plastic management industry. The discussion will cover enabling conditions, contextual barriers, best practices and lessons learned. The discussion will then turn to future predictions and research directions, and consider how entrepreneur-researcher collaborations can increase impact to reduce marine plastic pollution.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.7

      Title

      COORDINATING EVIDENCE-BASED ACTIONS ON PLASTIC POLLUTION THROUGH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND OPEN-SOURCE TECHNOLOGIES

      Format

      Presentation-based with panel

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Saiful Ridwan (UNEP, Chief, Enterprise Solutions Corporate Services Division), Jaikumar Sabanayagam (Information Systems Officer, OICT). Contributors: Hwa Saup Lee (Geographic Information Officer at United Nations), Heidi Savelli (UNEP Programme Management Officer).

      Short description

      The Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) Digital Platform phase 4 release aims to measure the effectiveness of actions, as well as to provide access to information, participation in decision-making, and access to justice.

      Full description

      The Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) Digital Platform seeks to connect and inform all actors working to address marine litter and plastic pollution. This global multi-stakeholder, mostly open-source platform compiles and crowdsources different resources, integrates data and connects stakeholders to guide and coordinate action around this pressing global issue.

      The Digital Platform aims to offer a single point of access for current, accurate data and information on plastic pollution, marine litter, and related topics. It provides a wide range of materials to support stakeholders’ needs, ranging from scientific research to technological innovation and public outreach, to inform decision-making, educate and raise awareness, facilitate target setting, and advance cooperation. Along with the “GPML Action Tracks”, it will also provide a formal structure for bringing experts together in a collaborative approach such as the Communities of Practice (CoPs).

      The release of an initial minimum viable product (MVP) (“Phase 1”) took place in February 2021 where a beta version of Phase 1 of the Platform was made available. Following the Phase 1 release, an iterative, user-centered design process is using techniques such as interviews, surveys, and workshops to collect feedback from users to inform new versions of the Platform. A series of phased releases will culminate in a full-fledged final version, to be launched in June 2023. Interim versions of the Platform will enhance existing features and develop new ones in preparation for key events, including the UNEA-5-b dialogue planned for 2022, the 7th International Marine Debris Conference (7IMDC) planned for 2022, and UNEA-6, expected to be held in early 2023.

      The session will be used to present the GPML Digital Platform with a focus on the introduction of phase 4 release, which aims to measure effectiveness of actions, as well as to provide access to information, participation in decision-making and access to justice. The aim will be to showcase and seek feedback on the workspace personalized experience to promote action plans creation and management , the capacity building section intended to empower stakeholders with best , and the data hub component that focuses on providing open access to curated information, as well as adding value through analysis and decision support tools.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.8

      Title

      INNOVATIVE ENGAGEMENT & RESEARCH MODELS TO SCALE SUSTAINABLE PLASTIC ALTERNATIVES

      Format

      Panel discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Tim Silman (Director of the TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, Lonely Whale), Dr. Erin Meyer (Director of Conservation Programs and Partnerships, Seattle Aquarium)

      Short description

      Unwrap the future of plastic alternatives through open innovation, advancing holistic end-of-life performance measures, and catalyzing adoption through corporate engagement.

      Full description

      There are multiple ways that responsible consumption and production (SDG 12) can help support healthy oceans (SDG 14). Reductions in consumption, new circular business models, and alternative materials are all part of the solution, in particular when it comes to addressing the plastic crisis.

      Developing new materials to replace plastic consumption requires cutting-edge science, and there are many companies around the globe working on new plastic alternatives. But their scale is small given the scope of the plastic pollution problem, their claims are hard to verify, and large consumers of plastic have trouble adopting these new materials. Innovations are desperately needed to identify, assess, and scale these solutions such that they can make a real impact on the volume of plastic entering our oceans. The TOM FORD Plastic Innovation Prize, an innovation competition focused on thin-film plastic alternatives, will be used as a lens to discuss new models for external engagement, scientific research, and sustainability-focused corporate innovation.

      Innovation competitions have been used throughout history to both identify and catalyze new innovations. Foundational technologies such as longitude, canning, margarine, and celluloid emerged as a result of a prize competition. Most famously, Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic in 1919 in pursuit of the Orteig Prize, and organizations like DARPA and XPRIZE continue to use the prize competition model in numerous areas.

      Key to the success of this approach is the verification of performance (a step often skipped by smaller competitions focusing on novel ideas or business pitches); in the case of new sustainable materials, this means utilizing well-grounded scientific criteria to ensure materials are capable of breaking down into nontoxic biomass under conditions closely approximating the real world, and without production of microplastics. But existing standards and methods stop-short of fully evaluating potential wildlife impacts and fail to address end-of-life in a diversity of natural environments. The most glaring gap is the impact of anthropogenic debris on seabirds, sea turtles, and baleen whales who readily ingest materials, sometimes not long after they enter the ocean.

      Beyond the importance of the science underpinning the competition, in order for an innovation competition to be truly successful, it must lead to not just the identification of new innovations, but also to swift market adoption and scaling of these new solutions. Accomplishing this requires engaging a diverse coalition of investors, advocates, policymakers, and most importantly, forward-thinking companies who are looking to solve sustainability challenges. Deep collaboration and partnership development is required to connect these corporate leaders with new alternatives that meet their needs in terms of product performance and availability.

      During this session, attendees will hear from a diverse group of leading scientists, corporate sustainability experts, and cutting-edge innovators who are working together to develop, assess, and advance new alternative materials that can serve as another tool in our fight against plastic pollution.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.9

      Title

      FINDING VIABLE SOLUTIONS TO CLEAN UP AND DISPOSE OF MARINE DEBRIS AND GHOST GEAR IN REMOTE LOCATIONS

      Format

      Presentations and Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Anissa Lawrence (TierraMar Managing Director), Professor Veena Sahajwalla (University of NSW Sustainable Materials Research and Technology Centre)

      Short description

      Sharing learnings and exploring solution options that overcome the challenges of distance and economies of scale.

      Full description

      The Gulf of Carpentaria in remote northern Australia is a global ghost gear and marine debris hotspot impacting on marine wildlife and Indigenous communities. This session explores the outcomes and learnings from recent work undertaken by TierraMar (which incorporates Ghost Nets Australia) and the UNSW SMaRT Centre through the Australian Ghost Net Initiative to find viable solutions to the interception, cleaning up and responsible disposal of ghost gear and marine debris in one of the more remote locations on earth.

      Viable solutions for remanufacturing of ghost gear and marine debris into viable products will be discussed. It provides opportunity for those working to overcome the challenges of economies of scale for sustainable solutions to share learnings and explore emerging technologies and options that can provide insitu solutions for Indigenous communities. A presentation of the findings from the project will be provided followed by a panel of practioners from around the world.

    • Track ID

      TS-3.10

      Title

      BIODEGRADABLE PLASTICS IN THE OPEN ENVIRONMENT - OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Miriam Weber (Co-Founder and managing director of HYDRA Marine Sciences), Glauco Battagliarin (Team Leader Biodegradability and Digitalization Biopolymer Research - Advanced Materials & Systems Research, BASF)

      Short description

      Biodegradable plastics are discussed to mitigate environmental plastic pollution from intentional use (e.g. agricultural applications); likely to be lost (e.g. fishing gear); and input due to use (e.g. abrasion).

      Full description

      Biodegradable plastics (BDPs) are a growing market and are discussed as options to mitigate environmental plastic pollution. In some cases, BDPs are applied as substitute materials and are exempt from regulations. One of the most prominent examples is the current discussion concerning the restrictions on intentionally added microplastics from ECHA. In addition, BDPs are also perceived as a more sustainable alternative for applications in the natural environment (e.g. agriculture, fisheries) and where loss is intrinsic to the use (abrasion, wear & tear). However, biodegradability, as an system property, also brings along (new) risks for the environment such as carbon enrichment, release of greenhouse gasses, and for society such as dis-/misinformation, greenwashing and the possibility of favoring littering.

      Additionally, the work on methods to characterize the biodegradation of these materials and their degradation products in different compartments are sometimes questioned and are still objects of research. In this panel discussion we want to address on the performance of BDPs in the natural environment, their environmental effects both on ecosystem and organism levels and the methods related to the above-mentioned aspects. Societal effects, life-cycle assessment and substitution potential might also be addressed. Potential topics and questions are:

      Bioplastics - a communication maze:

      Who is telling the truth about „bioplastics“, „biodegradable“, „compostable“ and „environmentally friendly“? Who does understand all these terms?

      Are bioplastics a true change or just greenwashing and an excuse for a business-as-usual scenarios?

      Can environmental biodegradability be used as a claim?

      Standardization, certification and regulation:

      How to test the biodegradability and biodegradation rates of biodegradable plastics?

      What is needed to promote full biodegradability and prevent microplastic formation?

      What are limitations and knowledge gaps in test methods and standards?

      Which role play biodegradable plastics in national and international regulation?

      Sustainability value:

      From feedstock to (no-)end-of-life: which role can biodegradable plastics play in circular economy?

      How can LCA help us in the evaluation?

      What else is needed?

      State of the art of biodegradable plastics:

      Which polymers are on the market and in use for which applications?

      Which materials could be used to substitute polymer applications with a high risk of loss to the environment (tires, textiles, fisheries & aquaculture, agriculture)?

      Which materials are available to substitute intentionally added micro- and macroplastics?

  • TRACK 4

    Education, Awareness, & Communication (13 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-4.1

      Title

      INSPIRING STUDENT ACTION THROUGH PROJECT-BASED MARINE DEBRIS EDUCATION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Alexandria Brake (Education Specialist, NOAA Marine Debris Program)

      Short description

      This session will present best practices, lessons learned, and actionable ideas for project-based learning in marine debris education, through which educators can inspire students to create meaningful change in communities.

      Full description

      Marine debris is one of the most ubiquitous and challenging problems facing our ocean and waterways. It can harm wildlife, the economy, and even human health. This critical issue is human-caused, but it also has human solutions. Students of all ages can quickly recognize the problem, collect and analyze data to build understanding, and independently design authentic solutions with immediate relevance and long-term impacts on their communities.

      The student-centered pedagogy behind project-based learning is a perfect complement to solutions-oriented education about marine debris. Whether their community is located along the shoreline or much further inland, students can easily identify land-based litter starting from the areas with which they are most familiar. Then, through research, experience, or instruction, students can connect litter in their communities to marine debris. Providing authentic, disciplinary, collaborative, and iterative project opportunities in the classroom will deepen students’ engagement with the material and help them create lasting change in our environment.

      Project-based learning units can include (but are not limited to) the following:

      An engineering challenge to solve a marine debris issue facing the local community, like creating a trash trap or inventing a more effective waste receptacle.

      A Public Service Announcement (PSA) to spread awareness of the issue of marine debris and prevent it from getting into the environment by changing behavior in the community.

      An art project that uses repurposed marine debris or other media to create an engaging and informative display aimed at solving a problem related to marine debris.

      A monitoring effort that provides students with data and evidence to support policy or behavioral changes in their school community.

      The most effective project-based learning units will provide students with an opportunity to combine 21st-century problem-solving and critical thinking skills with disciplinary content they have learned about the issue to make an impact on the environment.

      In this session, educators can share their experience implementing project-based learning in marine debris education, institutions can share resources intended to support project-based learning, and anyone can share success stories of student leadership and action through project-based learning. Attendees at this session can expect to walk away with helpful materials, actionable lessons learned, and inspired ideas to understand and promote project-based learning methods for marine debris education. "

    • Track ID

      TS-4.2

      Title

      YOUNG DRIVERS: EXPLORING YOUTH EDUCATION AND INNOVATION INITIATIVES ADDRESSING MARINE LITTER

      Format

      Presentation-based with possible panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Stephanie Naa Oserwa Schandorf (Co-founder, Sustainability Tribe), Rafaela F. Gutierrez (Program Lead of Social Science and Educational Programs, University of Toronto Trash Team, CA). Contributors: Kafui Adzo Tona-Gaogli (Research Officer, Centre for Maritime Law and Security Africa); Sabine Pahl (Professor of Urban and Environmental Psychology, University of Vienna, AT); Susan Debreceni (Program Lead of Volunteer Engagement and Community Programs, U of T Trash Team)

      Short description

      Join educators, outreach experts, researchers, and youth innovators to explore innovative solutions addressing marine litter and share engaging youth initiatives to motivate behavioural change.

      Full description

      Marine debris – and its implications on the global marine environment – presents a wicked problem that requires innovative and sometimes unconventional solutions – both core traits of youthful exuberance. Moreover, youth who behave in an ecologically responsible manner have the potential to communicate their experience further, and thus help influence their families and shape the values of both their parents and peers.

      Given that recent research with students suggests participation in environmental education activities can improve youth's environmental knowledge and attitudes, this session will explore innovative youth educational and outreach programming that aim to improve scientific and waste literacy, change behaviours, empower youth and foster a sense of curiosity about the natural world to ultimately reduce plastic pollution on our planet.

      A core element of discussions will come under the interdisciplinary and transboundary nature of approaches, with the intent of rallying youth from across the globe to provide them with the tools and encouragement to act, regardless of their functional disciplines or academic backgrounds.

      Additionally, this session will explore the critical role of youth in serving as key drivers of innovation and change across the globe in the battle against marine debris. It will also discuss opportunities and challenges to empower youth and expose them to the myriad of pathways through which they can have a meaningful and sustainable impact towards eliminating marine debris.

      Speakers will include youth innovators, changemakers and leaders who have had notable impacts in the area of marine debris regulation, as well as experienced innovators who can point out emerging areas of research, capacity building and expertise that are essential to bridging gaps in addressing marine debris. Case studies and best practices will corroborate the essential lessons and recommendations that will result from this dialogue.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.3

      Title

      The vital role of environmental education to end plastic pollution - lessons learned and potential solutions

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jella Kandziora (Scientific Advisor, International Waste Platform)

      Short description

      International networks like the International Waste Platform play a crucial role in developing, realizing and distributing replicable awareness-raising environmental education programs including practical case studies to prevent marine debris.

      Full description

      Plastic pollution is a global challenge. Creating awareness and promoting environmental education is a key to prevent and reduce marine litter worldwide. Launched by UNESCO in 2016, the ""A Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) showed that out of the 78 national curricula analysed, topics associated with sustainable development were widespread, but only 25 out of 78 national curricula included topcis of ""waste management and recycling“. This situation is aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic which led to disrupted school schedules and even less opportunities to introduce up to date information and programs on emerging issues like plastic pollution to ensure future generations are educated on the importance and opportunities to prevent, reduce and recycle plastic waste before it enters into the sea.

      Developing countries and small island states often lack personnel and financial resources to develop and run programs with focus on plastic pollution. In addition, existing programs are neither known nor replicable and adapted to local needs.

      International partnerships like IWP are crucial to develop tailor-made programs and disseminate them for sustainable development for all age groups. In our session we focus on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular on 4, 12, 13, 14 and 17. We will present at least three case studies from around the globe from our members. All of them have been anaylsed by a common set of criteria to evaluate their replicability and utilizability in other regions of the world.

      After having presented each case study, including results of analyzed criteria, there will be a Q&A session. We encourage attendees to participate actively and to interact. If possible, we suggest a hybrid event format in order to allow for a broader audience and higher outreach. We will use respective tools like zoom or slid.o for polls so participants who join remotely can also take part in the session. We would also suggest the use of an interactive screen where participants could add their input jointly and in parallel not only during the session but also prior and post-session with a deadline for contributions that will be announced several times in advance so participants will be well aware of the opportunities to contribute. Overall, we aim at delivering information on environmental education programs around the globe with a focus on how to tackle the global plastic pollution issue and how to create awareness. Our session is a sustain activity which actively engages participants, connects people and creates future partnerships.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.4

      Title

      HOW TO MAKE CAPACITY BUILDING A SUCCESS?

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Ansje Löhr (Associate professor Department of Environmental Sciences, Open University, The Netherlands), Tabea Zwimpfer (United Nations Environment Programme)

      Short description

      The session explores the current needs and developments related to capacity building and presents several initiatives to stimulate, strengthen and maintain various actions to tackle marine litter and plastic pollution.

      Full description

      Around the world people are taking action to tackle marine litter and plastic pollution. Capacity building is being developed on various scales and in different forms, but what is working best, what is needed for different situation or regions, what barriers are faced? How can we stimulate and strengthen worldwide action through education and capacity building?

      Capacity building encompasses a multitude of processes and activities. It means building and strengthening abilities, relationships, values and resources that will enable organisations, groups and individuals to take action, improve their performance and achieve their individual and collective development objectives. It includes strengthening processes, systems and rules to create enabling environments which influence collective and individual behaviour and performance in all development endeavours. Furthermore, it means enhancing people’s technical and financial ability and strengthening scientific and technical knowledge as well as stimulate willingness to play new developmental roles and adapt to various demands and situations.

      This session will explore current trends in capacity building on marine litter and plastic pollution and highlight recent developments and successful initiatives. It will be discussed how awareness-raising potential, education and training can be enhanced through different educational activities (such as the MOOC on Marine litter, masterclasses or webinars, or training of trainers). The session will also address recent initiatives to enable, strengthen and maintain systems, processes, and resources needs to tackle marine litter and plastic pollution through the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) Digital Platform. This includes among others a workflow to guide the creation, implementation, reporting and updating of action plans.

      Some highlights of the session are:

      Preliminary findings of a needs assessment for further input and discussion;

      Early experiences of the use of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) Digital Platform which compiles different resources, connects stakeholders, and integrates data to guide action;

      Real world action around the world resulting from 5 successful years of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Marine Litter developed by the Open University of the Netherlands (OU) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP);

      Main steps needed for countries or regions to write action plans and relevant support that can be provided to government representatives in the development of national action plans. A custom Action Plan Workflow for this is also part of the GPML Digital Platform;

      Experiences from around the globe delivered by speakers from different regions sharing among others regional needs and best practices on capacity building, for example dealing with:

      Tapping into existing networks operating at global scale, is a good way to build capacity within communities. A good example of such an initiative is the UNEP Tide Turners Plastic’s Challenge Badge and the FAO Nansen programme.

      How to best deal with thematical themes that may include plastics lifecycle, waste management, circularity, monitoring and abandoned, lost and discarded fishing and aquaculture gear.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.5

      Title

      ADVANCE NETWORK TECHNOLOGY TO PREVENT MARINE POLLUTION THROUGH SOCIETAL PARTICIPATION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Somita Chaudhari (Student, Vidyalankar Institute of Technology, Mumbai,India), Pasquale De Toro (Director, Interdepartmental Research Centre in Urban Planning “Alberto Calza Bini”, University of Naples Federico II, Italy)

      Short description

      This session is focused on innovative strategies for local capacity building through effective digital and computer technology application for marine litter and marine waste management through Societal participation.

      Full description

      Marine and Human Interactions are major Coastal Challenges to Prevent Marine Pollution in recent years. The effect of these interventions in Marine systems are responsible for climate change. The digital technology as well as information and communication technologies are playing a crucial role in marine litter education, marine pollution and marine waste management programs in Developing countries. Application communication technology and information Science is found suitable in educating the local population along coastal and marine regions. The Digital technology, social media, satellite technology, Computer networking and training for education and literacy for different actors in Marine waste management system is necessary to mitigate the impacts of marine pollutions.

      The participation of various stake holders such as students, youths, women, fishermen, employees of Local Governments, Marine industry laborers and workers along the marine regions and society at large is essential to prevent the marine litter and pollution management.

      This session signifies that digital technology integrated with Computer networking tools and ocean observation tools are important for marine litter education and management in developing countries. The presentation focuses on role of social media through computer education and computer literacy for marine litter and marine waste management by identifying the marine litter and marine waste regions and its scientific and sustainable disposal. This presentation suggest innovative strategies for societal participation and local capacity building through effective digital and computer applications for marine litter and marine waste management policy formulation, implementation and management in developing countries.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.6

      Title

      VOLUNTEER CLEANUPS DURING THE ERA OF COVID-19

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Eben Schwartz (Marine Debris Program Manager, California Coastal Commission), Allison Schutes (Director, International Coastal Cleanup, Ocean Conservancy)

      Short description

      This session will examine how volunteer cleanup programs adapted to the covid-19 pandemic, share lessons learned, and discuss how cleanups build the momentum and constituency needed for long-term solutions.

      Full description

      Covid-19 brought disruptions across every aspect of life, and volunteer cleanup projects were not immune. Around the world, organizers worked to adapt their efforts to the circumstances and keep volunteers safe while still fulfilling their important mission of removing trash from the environment while building a constituency that will support long-term solutions to the challenge of plastic pollution. In many parts of the world, this effort become even more important as the dramatic rise in the use of food delivery services and takeout led to an increase in the amount of single-use disposable plastic (including masks and gloves) entering the environment.

      This session will focus on the different models of cleanup that organizers developed over the course of the pandemic and share valuable lessons learned. It will also highlight the important role that the cleanup movement has played in fostering the knowledge and momentum necessary for true source reduction solutions. This important work may have been hampered by the pandemic but it did not stop. In many parts of the world, organized cleanups were abandoned in favor of more dispersed, self-guided cleanups. In others, organizers were forced to coordinate efforts even more carefully to complete the same goals by requiring pre-registration, assigning specific areas to different volunteers, and extending the time period of their cleanups by days or even weeks so volunteers would not overlap. At the same time, the data collected during pandemic-era cleanups placed a spotlight on the impact Covid-19 was having on the environment, as neighborhoods and outdoor recreation areas bore the brunt of the inability to organize large-scale cleanups. The increased attention this brought to our plastic pollution problem has led to even greater awareness and calls for systemic changes.

      While changing events that have existed for more than 30 years in some cases is never easy, there was incredible value found in these adapted cleanups, including the ability to reach new geographic regions and engage new audiences. Presenters during this session will examine the challenges and benefits of covid-era cleanups, discuss how cleanup efforts will change or adapt moving forward, and focus on the long-term changes brought about by the cleanup movement in their regions.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.7

      Title

      PROVIDING A FRAMEWORK FOR PLASTIC-FREE RESTAURANTS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Rachael Coccia (Plastic Pollution Manager, Surfrider Foundation), Cassia Patel (Director of Programs, Oceanic Global)

      Short description

      Plastic foodware is a major source of pollution. Learn about the programs and practices that exist globally to provide solutions and support restaurants as they tackle this challenge head-on.

      Full description

      Single-use plastic foodware including food wrappers (from individually wrapped items), bottles, straws, bags, and containers consistently top the list of items most commonly found during beach cleanups. Plastic foodware also contains toxic chemicals that can leach directly into the food and beverages we consume. Thankfully, alternative products exist today that could replace much of the single-use plastic foodware being used with reusable and refillable options.

      To put an end to this unnecessary pollution, we must reduce it at the source - the restaurant industry. Restaurants have faced challenging times throughout the pandemic, in and out of lockdowns and varying restrictions, meanwhile takeout orders soared and plastic use peaked. Yet, sustainability practices have found a way to persevere through innovation and community support. We believe success is achieved by working alongside restaurants as allies to help them find and implement solutions rather than shaming and blaming suboptimal practices. Oftentimes restaurants will even support stronger foodware legislation to ban single-use plastics and show up as key stakeholders for monumental campaigns.

      This session will cover the quickly growing field of restaurant support and sustainability recognition programs that provide the tools and networks necessary to move restaurants towards plastic-free operations. From national and international programs including Ocean Friendly Restaurants and the Blue Standard, to local and regional programs such as Rethink Disposable, this community has never been stronger. Normalizing reuse by recognizing restaurants who have committed to cutting out single-use plastic is key to creating large-scale behavior change. We’ll discuss everything from promotion to cost-savings, reusable product suppliers to apps that track plastic use. Don’t just take our word for it, hear directly from restaurant owners who have made the effort and are reaping the rewards. Together, we’re developing a straightforward, scalable framework to support restaurants at any stage of their plastic-free journey.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.8

      Title

      PERFORMING ARTS FOR STOPPING MARINE DEBRIS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Hrissi K. Karapanagioti (Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Patras, Greece), Contributor Maria-Maro Galani (PhD, Choreographer, Performance Writing researcher, Special Teaching Staff University of Patras)

      Short description

      Artists and educators as well as scientists can present or observe best practices in performing arts such as dance-theater, dance, music, cinema, drama, etc. and their practice in environmental awareness, activism, education, particularly in the topic of marine debris.

      Full description

      The aim of this session is to promote dialogue and research on the contemporary art practice related to performing arts in environmental awareness, activism and education with emphasis on marine debris. The objectives of the session is to promote dialogue on each of the topics related to performing arts including dance, theater, dancetheater, performance, video, music, opera, and music theater. The topics refer to creativity, experimentation, communication, collective action and solidarity, good practices, interdisciplinarity, and in general the recent trends in pedagogy and teaching of aesthetic education related to environmental education. Art programs at schools demonstrated that students who participated showed an improvement in communication, interest, and solidarity. Also, performing arts appear to lead to teamwork that leads to character building.

      Environmental awareness, activism, and education requires the above skills to reach out to the general public and students and inform them and change their behavior in terms of marine debris prevention.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.9

      Title

      Session Removed from Conference
    • Track ID

      TS-4.10

      Title

      A NETWORK OF KOREAN GRASSROOTS ORGANIZATIONS FOR MARINE CONSERVATION - KOREA MARINE CONSERVATION NETWORK/ 바다살리기네트워크

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Yuna Lee (Founder of Responsible Divers [ReDi]/ Organization Member of Korea Marine Conservation Network), EunWon Choi (Representatitve of Project Question/ Operations Director of Korea Marine Conservation Network)

      Short description

      Grassroots NGOs’ experience in education and raising awareness: Korea Marine Conservation Network.

      Full description

      Korea Marine Conservation Network is a group of 14 marine conserving grassroots organizations from all regions of Korea. The Network officially launched in Dec, 2021 to consolidate solidarity in combating marine debris, and aims to collaborate in implementing safety and support measures for activists and volunteers; raising awareness and education on marine debris and local clean-up activities; collecting marine debris data; and promoting campaigns.

      The session encompasses the various specialties of the Network’s organisation members. The objectives of the session are to share our experience in raising awareness for marine debris and to provide a real-life, local-specific examples of combating marine debris by presenting our activities, insights, and the challenges ahead. Each NGO is distinct in terms of its regional experience, as the source of marine debris differs by geography. Moreover, each has its own way of collecting marine debris - beach cleaning, SCUBA diving, and Freediving – thus suited for different natural environments, types of waste, and supporters.

      The session begins by introducing each NGOs and its characteristics in relation to its location and operation strategies. Starting with a 5 min-long videoclip. [Why did 14 organisations come together to save the sea?], a following presentation briefly outlines the activities of the NGOs as well as the process of establishing the Network.

      Next, a discussion follows, consisting of four topics. Again, each topic shows 5 min-long videoclips that recorded the NGOs’ activities (all includes English subtitles). The videos highlight Jeju island, which is the natural wonder and the most beloved travel destination in Korea. It also is where 7 of 14 NGOs are located, offering the exemplars of grassroots movements against marine debris in Korea. Presentations following each video will discuss each topic in further detail to illustrate the NGOs’ activities and experience.

      T1. Overview of NGO activities
      Videoclip: The shadow of the Jeju sea
      Discussion: Topic 1 covers various ways that the NGOs’ activities regarding education and raising awareness, and the filming of a documentary.

      T2. Seaspiracy Shock
      Videoclip: Commercial fishing is not the sole culprit
      Discussion: Netflix original documentary Seaspiracy was a shock to many in Korea, and fishermen have become the villains. Yet, what we collect tells a different story and calls for collective action of all.

      T3. Manufacturing goods with recycled materials
      Videoclip: Picked up trashes become another problem
      Discussion: Marine debris treatment and recycling are growing concern as the amount of collected waste increases. NGOs have produced and sold different goods with the help of various cooperation.

      T4. COVID19 and combating marine debris
      Videoclip: COVID19 and marine debris
      Discussion: COVID19 generated more waste and diversified the marine debris found in our seas, but also recruiting volunteers or organising events have become more difficult. The topic shares some insights from the past years during the pandemic.

      Finally, the session will open the floor to questions as well as insights on the capacity building at a grassroots level and welcomes opportunities for cooperation with international civil society and other stakeholders to prevent and reduce marine debris.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.11

      Title

      WORDS MATTER - AVOIDING LOOPHOLE LANGUAGE AND GREENWASHING

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Dean Otsuki (Co-Founder, Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii [B.E.A.C.H.]), Suzanne Frazer (Co-Founder, President, Beach Environmental Awareness Campaign Hawaii [B.E.A.C.H.])

      Short description

      A panel discussion regarding how word choice matters when it comes to avoiding greenwashing and loopholes in communicating about plastic in the community and in legislation.

      Full description

      A panel discussion regarding how word choice matters when it comes to avoiding greenwashing and loopholes in communicating about plastic in the community and in legislation. Use of words and phrases such as “single-use plastic” as well as greenwashing claims regarding plastic being able to ""biodegrade"" or dissolve"" influence not only how people think about plastic but also what actions they take or don’t take to minimize plastic usage and waste. Words can convey false and misleading claims or result in loopholes in legislation.

      This session is about exploring and discussing common loopholes and greenwashing terms and claims and the importance of using correct terminology and definitions when writing and speaking about plastic on social media, in schools, the wider community and in legislation. Recent legislation passed in Hawaii will also be used as an example of how it was necessary to correct terminology and definitions in the original bill in order to ensure that the law was successful.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.12

      Title

      ACT NOW - SOLUTIONS TO STOP PLASTIC POLLUTION: A PRACTIONER’S TOOLKIT

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Kamala Ernest (SEA circular Project Coordinator, UNEP - Asia and the Pacific Office)

      Short description

      Fundamental change across plastic value chain through contextual communication and actionable assets is required to achieve cleaner seas and further circularity. SEA circular’s plastic action toolkit is built for this.

      Full description

      Almost 85% of total marine waste comes from plastics – this is due to rapid growth in plastic production and inadequate management of solid waste. It is estimated that just four Asian countries account for about half of this plastic waste.

      There is widespread awareness of the situation and several mitigating actions - countries are now starting to implement regulations around EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility), circularity, and science based solutions; companies are acting on plastic footprint; standards bodies are coming up with guidelines on plastic credits; and civil society is encouraging community level change – however, there is disparity in understanding and actionable knowledge for stakeholders across the region. This requires a coherent approach to guide stakeholders through a structured yet flexible theory of change – to inform, inspire and act.

      In this session, we intend to highlight a key awareness and knowledge management initiative of SEA circular leading to a plastic action toolkit that serves as a compendium of knowledge assets which in turn were produced after intensive research, benchmarking, stakeholder dialogues and consultations. The toolkit consolidates learnings of SEA circular’s partners from across sectors and includes country studies of plastic footprint; market based solution showcases through regional good practice case studies and exchange events; campaign materials that created a social movement through new age digital marketing campaigns that touched millions of youth; learning materials and workshops to sensitize stakeholders on various aspects of the plastic value chain. It also captures 10 holistic ‘acceleration solutions’ to address plastic waste which was an outcome of SEA circular’s flagship event - SEA of Solutions 2021. We believe these actionable knowledge assets will help facilitate the circularity journey of practitioners in the plastic value chain.

      Session Objective: The session aims to share learnings, benefits and the successes of SEA circular through the knowledge assets produced by its partners throughout the program and orient the audience on the plastic action toolkit that can act as a toolbox for stakeholders in their circularity journey within the plastic value chain.

      Session Outcome: At the end of the session, we expect to (i) generate interest among the audience to promote the toolkit among their community in the plastic value chain to facilitate progress; (ii) take the learnings from our communication and knowledge sharing initiatives to develop meaningful initiatives.

    • Track ID

      TS-4.13

      Title

      Community-Engaged Solutions to Marine Debris: Perspectives from Around the World

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Kristina K. Edwards (Education & Outreach Coordinator, Department of Planning & Natural Resources Division of Coastal Zone Management), Zola Roper (Marine Debris Coordinator, Department of Planning & Natural Resources)

      Short description

      This session will highlight the different ways communities the world over are contributing to marine debris solutions.

      Full description

      Global approaches to marine debris prevention, removal, research, and monitoring benefit from the engagement of communities. This session invites presentations from around the world that share the successes, challenges, and innovations in community-engaged solutions to marine debris.

      This session should be of interest to anyone (including researchers, educators, industry professionals, conservationists, artists, community leaders) who frequently interacts with the general public in their marine debris-related work and wants to share these experiences with others interested in the benefits, pitfalls, and practical strategies for community engagement. This session is especially interested in learning from and highlighting perspectives from communities that have been historically marginalized and underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

  • TRACK 5

    Regulations, Laws, & Policy (15 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-5.1

      Title

      NON-STATE ACTORS IN GOVERNANCE SOLUTIONS TO PLASTIC POLLUTION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Dr Joanna Vince (Senior Lecturer, Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania), Dr Kathryn Willis (Centre for Marine Socioecology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia)

      Short description

      The role, impact and future direction that non-state actors have in the development and implementation of plastic pollution governance.

      Full description

      Marine plastic pollution is described as a ‘global crisis’ and a ‘wicked problem’ that requires a mixture of regulation, economic/market and community-based governance solutions. Although the plastic crisis continues to grow exponentially, policy responses across all levels of governance have been disparate and slow. The UN Sustainable Development Goal 14.1 aims for the prevention and reduction of all marine debris by 2025, however action on an international level is mostly non-binding and open to interpretation. While resolutions on plastic pollution in 2017 (Res 71/312) and in 2019 (Res 4/6) have stressed the importance of prevention and reduction of marine litter, discussions regarding a formal plastics treaty are in their infancy. Individual countries and regional organisations (such as the European Union) have had varied policy responses (with various degrees of success) to the marine plastic pollution issue within their own jurisdictions including (but not limited to) the development of innovative waste management, circular economy, extended producer responsibility and product stewardship approaches.

      Non-state actors including industry, certification bodies and civil society have had important roles in these approaches across global and national levels. Regulatory bodies have often experienced difficulties and challenges with the implementation of sustainable, conservation measures, demonstrating that regulatory measures alone cannot bring about the required change to effectively stop marine plastic pollution and land-based waste. Effective pollution governance requires participation from non-state actors in its design, development and implementation.

      Industry-based solutions that utilise market/economic based initiatives have proved useful when they are environmentally and socially responsible. Industry is also being encouraged to take responsibility for the full life-cycle of the products they produce, however, this is not always supported through regulation and policy.

      This Technical Session will explore the current governance arrangements on global and/or national scales for plastic pollution and the roles of non-state actors in policy making. It welcomes papers that explore one of the following: the role and impact of non-state actors in global governance arrangements; the role and impact of non-state actors in national/regional policy making; and the gaps and opportunities for non-state actors in the development and implementation of holistic, integrated, ‘whole of life cycle’ or circular economy policies. This session will select papers that demonstrate examples of non-state actor participatory involvement in plastic pollution governance, approaches to engaging non-state actors in plastic pollution governance, barriers and lessons learned for either. Up to 5 speakers will be given 8 minutes to present their work followed by a 20-minute Q&A panel to allow audience participation in discussion.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.2

      Title

      EVIDENCE-BASED-POLICY FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF PLASTICS IN ASIAN-PACIFIC REGION

      Format

      Panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Ms. Melisa Lim (Programme Officer, Science and Technical Assistance Branch, Secretariat of the BRS Conventions, UNEP), Dr. Premakumara Jagath Dickella-Gamaralalage (Director, IGES Centre Collaborating with UNEP on Environmental Technologies [CCET] Institute for Global Environmental Strategies [IGES], Japan)

      Short description

      Evidence-based policy-driven measures under the Basel Convention for preventing and minimizing the generation of plastic waste, improving its environmentally sound management, and controlling its transboundary movement in the Asia-Pacific region.

      Full description

      This special session titled “Evidence-Based-Policy for Environmentally Sound Management of Plastics in Asian-Pacific Region” focused on the capacity building for plastic litter monitoring, with the target of evidence-based policy measure development, implementation, and enforcement for environmentally sound management of plastics in the Asia-Pacific region.

      With the Basel Convention Plastic Waste Amendments (BC-PWA) unanimously adopted by the Parties to the Basel Convention in 2019, the Basel Convention is at the forefront in promoting the prevention, environmentally sound management, and control of transboundary movements of plastic waste, thus protecting human health and the environment, including our oceans. In the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with the use of single-use plastics on the rise and with waste operators working at limited capacity across the world, tackling the plastic waste crisis is more important than ever in making progress across the 2030 Agenda, including, but not limited to SDGs 3, 6, 12 and 14.

      Further, the implementation of the BC-PWA requires various measures including capacity building for plastic litter (both microplastics and macroplastics) monitoring, plastic inventory management, identification of environmentally sound end of life management options, regional collaboration, public awareness, education, information exchange, and so forth. The session especially focuses on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region and discusses the circumstances with example cases on how the environmentally sound management of plastic litter can be achieved through not only technical and financial support but through capacity building in institutional and policy measure aspects. Further, the discussion would extend to the importance of having monitoring, reporting, and verification systems at local, national, regional, and global levels with proper coordination.

      The panelists represent international organizations such as UNEP-BRS, UNEP-IETC, the national-level policymakers from the Asia-pacific developing countries, and some other stakeholders involved in regional collaboration.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.3

      Title

      Session Removed from Conference
    • Track ID

      TS-5.4

      Title

      THE UNITED STATES’ ROLE AND RESPONSIBILITY IN STOPPING OCEAN PLASTICS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Nicholas Mallos (Senior Director, Trash Free Seas, Ocean Conservancy), Miho Ligare (Plastic Pollution Policy Manager, Surfrider Foundation). Contributors: Dr. Kara Lavender Law (Sea Education Association), Melissa Gates (Surfrider Foundation).

      Short description

      This session will examine the United States’ role as a top contributor to ocean plastic pollution, and the status and trend of the nation’s single-use plastics and packaging mitigation laws.

      Full description

      Peer-reviewed research in a 2020 study found that the United States (U.S.) is the top plastic waste generator in the world and ranks as high as third among countries contributing to plastic waste in the coastal environment. This finding was reaffirmed in a 2021 report by the U.S. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine.

      These studies challenge the widely-held belief that the U.S. is adequately “managing”—that is, collecting and properly landfilling, combusting, recycling or otherwise containing—its plastic waste. They further underscore that the U.S. has outsourced its massive plastic waste footprint to developing countries and, in so doing, has become a top contributor to the global ocean plastics crisis. The National Academies report concluded, as have many others, that there is no single solution to address plastic waste entering the marine environment; rather, the U.S. needs to take a suite of across-the-board actions– beginning with reducing plastic production.

      In this session, presenters will share the most recent scientific research on United States’ contribution to ocean plastic pollution and showcase the more than 1,000 U.S. plastic reduction laws currently in effect across the country. Presenters will highlight advancing policy trends to address environmental justice and single-use plastics and packaging mitigation in the U.S., including the federal Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act and the nation’s first extended producer responsibility for plastic packaging law in the state of Maine.

      Participants will be invited to engage in a dialogue about the federal Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act and similar strategies that promote a comprehensive suite of policies that when advanced concurrently, could meet goals to reduce plastic production, advance environmental justice, ensure equitable access to effective waste management in all communities, and support innovation in production and end-of-life processing as well as design of material, product, and product delivery alternatives. Discussion will center around whether the strategies currently being advanced in the U.S. are adequate and leading us in the right direction, and what more could be done.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.5

      Title

      PAN-ARCTIC GOVERNANCE OF MARINE PLASTIC LITTER - AND BEYOND

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Rachel Tiller (Chief Scientist at SINTEF Ocean), Anne Katrine Normann (Senior Researcher at NOFIMA)

      Short description

      We explore the vast implications of governance shortcomings and knowledge gaps applying to two geographical areas heavily impacted by plastic waste and littering: The Northeast Atlantic and the Northwest Pacific regions.

      Full description

      While much is being done to reverse plastic pollution, the legal and regulatory framework for addressing marine plastic litter in the Arctic remains inadequate. A resolution requires concerted international efforts. The session will provide knowledge status, assessments and comparisons of governance mechanisms in the two regions to identify the constituent elements of a legal and political platform for the prevention and remediation of marine plastic litter discharge in the Arctic. It will suggest paths for solutions. The session will encourage discussions towards developing knowledge to support policy formulation by the Arctic Council and other bodies working to put in place an international regulatory framework to minimize marine plastic litter in the Arctic.

      The session covers different geographical levels, from overarching international regulatory frameworks, to how lessons from two large regions can benefit the circumpolar region, to presenting local case studies on how international regulations and framework can impact the proliferation and implementation of circular economy principles as a measure to reduce plastic use and plastic pollution.

      Topics that could be discussed from circumpolar perspectives are among others the status on legal framework regulating marine plastic pollution in the Arctic; Orchestration of a legal platform to prevent marine pollutions in the circumpolar region; The shift from global, to state to industry responsibility in the plastics context; Key similarities and differences in applied governance mechanisms in the Northeast Atlantic and Northwest Pacific regions, with attention to lessons, good practices and measures to form framework addressing marine plastic pollution in the Arctic; and Discussion around why some Arctic states may be reluctant to reach concerted efforts.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.6

      Title

      TRACKING GOVERNMENT RESPONSES TO PLASTIC POLLUTION: LOCAL TO GLOBAL

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Zoie Diana (Ph.D. Candidate, Duke University), Rachel Karasik (Policy Associate, Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions)

      Short description

      This session will provide a high-level overview of government responses to plastic pollution and share case studies that provide insight into policy effectiveness in achieving socio-economic and/or ecological outcomes.

      Full description

      From the deep sea to rain over protected areas to human blood and the placenta, plastic pollution has become ubiquitous in socioecological systems. In response, the scientific community and civil society have grown increasingly concerned about human and environmental health concerns from direct exposure and plastic pollution. Plastic pollution includes a multitude of chemical additives, some of which are toxins, known endocrine disruptors and carcinogens including metal additives. Additionally, plastics adsorb pollutants from the environment, such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Governments have started to respond to the growing threat of plastic pollution.

      This session will provide a summary of how governments at international, national, and local levels have responded to plastic pollution over the past two decades. We and will highlight a range of global case studies that provide insight to policy adoption on the ground. To provide a bird’s eye view of the global public policy response to the plastic pollution crisis, we will present longitudinal research evaluating and assessing government policies, laws, and regulations designed to reduce plastic pollution. This includes an overview of which plastic types and stages of the lifecycle governments are and are not targeting and the wide array of instruments, from regulatory bans to fees and taxes to increased recycling targets, governments are employing to address this problem.

      Panel speakers representing the local, national, and global perspectives will provide considerable detail on the implementation and effectiveness for specific case studies of policy responses in different parts of the world. We will close with a discussion on measurable indicators of socioeconomic and ecological outcomes associated with policy adoption.

      There are many important lessons we can learn when we share insights on existing policy responses from around the world. Those attending the session will learn about the types of policies that are meeting their intended goals in plastic pollution reduction in a given setting and any potential unintended consequences as well. We hope that this session provides insight into how governments worldwide across levels may collaborate and take steps to reduce global plastic pollution in the commons.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.7

      Title

      FROM FARM TO SEA: TACKLING AGRICULTURAL PLASTIC POLLUTION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Carla Friedrich (Programme Management Officer for Marine Litter, United Nations Environment Programme), Giulia Carcasci (Agricultural Plastics and Sustainability Consultant, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations)

      Short description

      This session will explore how reducing, redesigning, recovering and recycling plastics in agriculture is essential for preventing plastic leakage into terrestrial, freshwater and marine environments.

      Full description

      Modern agriculture relies heavily on products that contain plastic. The use of plastics in agriculture (e.g., mulch films, greenhouses, irrigation pipes, crates, pesticide containers, seed coatings and pellets for the controlled release of fertilizers) has increased considerably in recent decades. These products can deliver benefits such as improved yields, reduced water use, reduced food loss and waste, and improved efficiency of agrochemical and fertilizer use. However, agricultural plastics can also cause damage to the long-term viability of soils, pollute our waters, and harm animal and human health. Macro and microplastics can become a significant source of marine litter when they are transported via runoff and wind from the fields into waterways and ultimately the ocean.

      The business model for plastics use in agriculture currently relies on many single-use plastic products. As a measure of prevention and reduction of marine litter and plastic pollution, it is essential to address the growing use of plastics in agriculture, applying the 6 R’s (Refuse, Redesign, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover), fostering circularity through improved design, and ensuring adequate end-of-life management. It is also necessary to assess the use of alternative materials, practices and systems that reduce the need for plastics in agricultural production.

      FAO and UNEP representatives will further submit abstracts to present and discuss the results of the 2021 FAO study “Assessment of agricultural plastics and their sustainability: a call for action”, and the 2021 UNEP working paper “Plastics in agriculture: sources and impacts”.

      This session will also feature interventions and discussion from scientists and innovators from the public and private sectors to explore ideas to prevent marine litter and plastic pollution through improved management of plastics in agriculture, including innovative practices and targeted regulatory and policy instruments. The consequences of plastics contamination on food safety will be explored as well. Enough time will also be allocated for questions and discussion with the audience. The organizers will encourage the submission of abstracts with an aim to achieve wide geographic and sectoral representation, as well as gender balance.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.8

      Title

      THE IMPACT AND ROLE OF EPR IN IN THE CONTEXT OF MARINE LITTER PREVENTION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Mira Nagy (Advisor, GIZ), Phong Giang (Advisor, GIZ)

      Short description

      Challenges, barriers, and recommendations in implementing EPR measures on a global scale to prevent marine plastic litter, with country examples.

      Full description

      EPR has been identified by the international community as a key instrument to combat marine plastic pollution, and thus various stakeholders are calling for EPR as one of the guiding principles of a future global plastics agreement. The contribution of EPR to a sustainable waste management system and circular economy is undisputed and recognized by various institutions and organizations, including among others the EU, OECD, UNEP etc. For example, the EPR concept has been widely implemented in many European, Asian and American countries, and more and more developing countries are following this approach. However, as marine plastic litter generation has been steadily increasing for decades (UNEP, 2021), it is important to critically assess (i) how EPR has affected marine (plastic) litter generation, and (ii) how EPR will impact marine (plastic) litter generation in the future.

      To answer these questions, GIZ will provide insights into EPR implementation, draw relevant conclusions about the importance of EPR in preventing marine litter at the global level, and complement them with some country’s perspectives:

      • Introduction of EPR and EPR Toolbox (common understanding of EPR; Toolbox: idea, creation process, content, tools, objective)
      • Presentation of the recently carried out study “Assessment of the impact and role of EPR in the prevention of marine plastic litter”, which explains how EPR can finance waste management and analyses results from various countries worldwide with varying levels of EPR implementation.
      • Lessons from implementing PREVENT Waste Alliance EPR toolbox for packaging featuring country examples in South East Asia
      • Positioning and relation of mandatory and voluntary mechanisms for financing the circular economy for plastics and packaging

      The insights into related challenges, barriers, and recommendations in implementing EPR are aimed at decision makers in other organizations or countries, among others, to give them inspiration for making informed decisions. After the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.9

      Title

      ACTION PLANS AND SOURCE INVENTORIES

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Karen Raubenheimer (Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong, Australia)

      Short description

      The lessons learned from developing and implementing action plans will be shared by national governments and sponsors.

      Full description

      Action plans are a key implementation mechanism for the prevention and management of marine litter and plastic pollution. A number of action plans specific to or related to the issue have been developed and implemented at the regional and national levels. These vary in content but also in the processes undertaken to develop and adopt the plan.

      Action plans are being strongly promoted for development by countries that have not yet adopted such instruments. Those that have adopted plans will likely undertake a review process mid-term or towards the end of the lifespan of the plan. Whether an action plan is new or under review, the process can benefit from lessons learned in other regions and countries. This can include the development, adoption and the implementation phases.

      Where the development of action plans has been sponsored, the donor country and recipient country will have their own experiences of the process for areas that worked well and areas that could be improved. These are valuable sources of knowledge to be shared.

      Implementation of action plans requires human and financial resourcing. Various sources of financing have been developed by countries that could provide valuable insights for those developing action plans for the first time, but also where action plans are under review.

      National source inventories can provide the data to ensure action plans are based on solid information, both during their development and to measure progress during the review phase. The role of national source inventories in supporting action plans will be discussed.

      This session will present the lessons learned by governments as well as donor countries. The various ways in which the Global Partnership on Marine Litter can assist will also be discussed. The balance between harmonisation and flexibility in the design of action plans is also an important consideration for discussion, particularly as the world moves towards negotiation of a new global agreement to address marine litter and plastic pollution."

    • Track ID

      TS-5.10

      Title

      TURNING OFF THE TAP - THE ROAD TO AN EFFECTIVE GLOBAL PLASTICS TREATY

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Christina Dixon (Deputy Ocean Campaign Lead, Environmental Investigation Agency)

      Short description

      A panel discussion bringing together experts from policy-making, business, academia and civil society to share perspectives on essential elements of a new global plastics treaty.

      Full description

      Following the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) 5.2 in March 2022 we are very likely to be on the road towards a legally binding global instrument on plastic pollution covering measures along the entire life cycle of plastics.

      Many governments and civil society organisations are calling for a treaty that could include plastic production, transport, use, disposal and remediation, with the business sector also echoing the need for an ambitious and expedient agreement that will support companies to meet their obligations and harmonise efforts across markets. It’s clear that voluntary initiatives are insufficient to deliver the change required to tackle plastic pollution at scale or catalyse the infrastructure development and capacity building required to truly transform the current system. Thus, there is growing consensus on the need for specific legally-binding provisions and obligations to prevent and remediate plastic pollution and its toxic impacts, with an agreement sought in advance of UNEA 6.

      As negotiators begin to flesh out the scope of the future global agreement, there are many questions to be resolved including; a common position on where the life cycle of plastic begins and what interventions will be needed; how to finance the agreement to support uptake and compliance; how to ensure human rights and environmental justice principles are embedded within the framework; how best to manage monitoring and reporting of plastic and plastic pollution; national action plans and the best prevention policies; how the treaty coordinates between existing instruments to avoid duplications and redundancies…and more.

      This session aims to bring together voices from civil society, business, academia and policy-making to tease out some of the essential elements of the proposed plastic treaty and stimulate a discussion about structure, scope and level of ambition.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.11

      Title

      SCIENCE TO POLICY

      Format

      Presentation + Panel Discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Thomas Maes (GRID-Arendal), Francois Galgani (IFREMER)

      Short description

      Applying scientific knowledge and consensus to the development of public policies.

      Full description

      Marine litter is a major concern worldwide and poses environmental, health, economic, and aesthetic threats. Science has a key role in helping people understand the marine litter problem and develop sustainable solutions. At present, the policy of marine litter governance has gradually improved; however, relying on the current policies will not solve the escalating crisis of marine litter. This session aims to guide policy to address marine plastics, which will involve working with a range of stakeholders and community groups.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.12

      Title

      INTERDISCIPLINARY AND MULTI-DIMENSIONAL SCIENCE FOR SOLUTIONS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Taylor Maddalene (Circularity Assessment Protocol Director and PhD Student, Circularity Informatics Lab, University of Georgia), Jenna Jambeck (Professor of Engineering, University of Georgia)

      Short description

      Sharing examples and lessons learned from case studies in interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional science for solutions from around the globe.

      Full description

      Plastic pollution is a global challenge that cannot be solved with a single solution or with one set of expertise. It requires systems thinking and reaching across disciplines in order to answer critical questions and most effectively inform solutions. This session will provide examples of initiatives that have effectively used interdisciplinary and multi-dimensional science to further research and drive solutions in preventing plastic pollution worldwide. Key takeaways will include the importance of using innovative and cross-boundary science to answer key questions and drive change in this space, and a call to action for collaboration.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.13

      Title

      CLEAN MARINE ENVIRONMENT INITIATIVE – THE ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jong-Joo Yoon (The Province of Chungcheongnam-do; Senior Research Fellow, ChungNam Institute)

      Short description

      : Introduction of action plan for clean marine environment initiative in the province of Chungcheongnam-do, Korea - Enhancing the effectiveness of public institutions

      Full description

      This session introduces Clean Marine Environment Policy in the province of Chungcheongnam-do' in Korea. The province of Chungcheongnam-do has established the mid- to long-term plan by local governments and is pushing for zero-marine waste action plan. Through this, we are achieving results such as securing large-scale government expenses and receiving national commendations. In particular, in the case of marine waste, improvements were identified in the stages of ""prevention of occurrence,"" ""collection, storage,"" and ""transportation, and disposal,"" and improvement directions suitable for local conditions at each stage were prepared. Various policies are being pursued to lead local governments, including the development of marine waste inflow blocking facilities, the manufacture of transport ships exclusively for marine waste, the installation of wide-area marine waste treatment facilities, and the operation of local marine environment education centers. The province of Chungcheongnam-do is achieving results to sustain a clean local marine environment. In recognition of these achievements internationally, it won the 2021 UN Public Service Award.

      This session introduces various marine environment policies in Chungcheongnam-do. Along with this, we will discuss ways to build national to local governance, along with the role of local governments aimed at preserving and sustainable use of marine resources. Along with sharing various policy experiences with other local governments, we discuss ways to discover various marine environment conservation policies suitable for local marine environment conditions. In addition, we will discuss ways to spread the successful action plan results of local governments.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.14

      Title

      THE TOWER OF BABEL: DECONSTRUCTING THE COMPLEXITY OF PLASTIC POLLUTION

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Lisa Erdle (Manager of Science and Innovation, 5 Gyres), Marcus Eriksen (Director of Science and Innovation, 5 Gyres)

      Short description

      This session will make a case for deconstructing the plastic pollution issue into specialized fields, or sectors of use in society, in order to facilitate targeted solutions

      Full description

      The research field of plastic pollution has grown exponentially in knowledge and complexity, leading to divergent thought about solutions. Broadscale conferences and conversations on plastic pollution run the risk of becoming the “Tower of Babel” as we find ourselves at the same table discussing different polymers and additives, products and packaging, receiving compartments, impacts, and therefore solutions.

      There is historical precedence to find a silver-bullet solution to solve global-scale environmental problems (e.g., the hole in the ozone, smog over cities, and tar on beaches), but plastic pollution will not be fixed by any single solution. So, there is a need to deconstruct the complexity of plastic pollution into specialized fields in order to zero in on interventions.

      The aim of this session is to make a case for deconstructing the complexity of plastic pollution by various “sectors” based on their use in society, which can be used as a framework to identify targeted solutions that will work. Solutions for different sectors will be required; a targeted solution for textile microfibers, for example, will differ from solutions for tire particles, solutions for single use plastics will not apply to fishing gear. Specialization of a field of study frequently results in independent journals, conferences, organizations and academic studies. We argue that the plastic pollution issue is ready for specialized fields based on a sector approach.

    • Track ID

      TS-5.15

      Title

      RESPONDING TO MARINE DEBRIS AFTER DISASTERS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Amy Gohres (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Response Specialist and Strategic Project Manager), Jessica Conway (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Response Specialist)

      Short description

      This session will cover pre-event planning for and response to marine debris occurring after natural and human-caused disasters including best practices and lessons learned.

      Full description

      Both natural and human-caused disasters can create large amounts of marine debris that enter oceans and waterways all at once and pose a unique set of challenges. After natural disasters like floods, hurricanes/typhoons, and tsunamis, communities are left with the daunting task of economic and physical recovery. While debris on land may be removed not long after the disaster, marine debris response often occurs more slowly and may be left in place due to a lack of resources or ambiguous roles and responsibilities. Technological disasters such as an overturned container ship or nurdle spill pose their own set of challenges and may impact many countries at once, facilitating a need for international response and coordination.

      This session will cover pre-event planning for and response to marine debris occurring after natural and human-caused disasters including best practices and lessons learned to inspire future discussions and planning efforts.

  • TRACK 6

    Circularity and Waste Management (11 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-6.1

      Title

      ADVANCING SOLUTIONS TO PLASTIC POLLUTION THROUGH INCLUSIVE RECYCLING

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Chever Voltmer (Director, Plastics Initiatives at Ocean Conservancy), Mike Maggio (President, iWrc - Inclusive Waste Recycling Consortium)

      Short description

      We are piloting inclusive collection models to prevent low-value plastic from leaking into the ocean by empowering informal sector waste collectors, tying in corporate supply chains, and engaging policy makers.

      Full description

      is estimated that 80% of waste leaking from land into the ocean was never collected. While many countries lack formal waste collection services, in much of the world an estimated 15 million informal sector waste collectors provide this valuable environmental service, often in very difficult conditions.

      Ocean Conservancy’s own research showed that informal sector waste collectors typically bypass low-value plastic at high risk of leaking into the ocean, but would be willing to collect it if they could find markets for it. In response, in spring 2020 Ocean Conservancy and members of its Trash Free Seas Alliance® launched a project to incentivize collection of low-value plastics, improve informal sector waste worker well-being, develop new markets, and incorporate inclusive collection models into government policy. Working with in-country partners in two different geographies (Colombia and Vietnam) who were already working with waste collectors, and with a global coordinating partner familiar with corporate procurement and social safeguards, Ocean Conservancy launched ASPPIRe (Advancing Solutions to Plastic Pollution through Inclusive Recycling). The project aims to deliver a triple bottom line – environmental, social, and economic – by empowering informal sector waste collectors to be part of the solution to low-value plastic pollution and ensuring that their environmental services are recognized and rewarded, including in EPR schemes.

      The presenter(s) will share how the project was adapted to these two very different countries, share results to date, potential national policy implications, and what lessons were learned along the way.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.2

      Title

      CAPTURE AND CONTAIN - ADDRESSING LEGACY WASTE AND OPEN DUMPSITES

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jon Angin (Chief of Party, USAID’s Clean Cities, Blue Ocean Program), Maria Tsakona (ISWA Women of Waste Task Force Leader)

      Short description

      Exploring local level solutions to improve community health and address leakage from open dumpsites through partnership and coordination.

      Full description

      This session is designed to share examples and case studies of efforts to remediate and/or close open dumpsites – specifically steps taken to build and secure political alignment and community support, overcome financial and technical challenges, and the many social factors that must be considered.

      Open dumpsites pose significant threats to the health of communities, the oceans, and independent waste collectors (waste pickers) around the world. These sites contain municipal and potentially hazardous waste from multiple sources (households, businesses, etc.) which is not properly managed. The environmental result of this mismanagement is evident in uncontrolled open burning, fugitive emissions and leachate, and materials including plastics, leaking into local waterways and creating biodiversity crisis.

      There is very little information or an ability to monitor or control what is being disposed of at these sites. The International Solid Waste Association’s (ISWA) Task Force on Closing Dumpsites estimates that about 40% of the world’s waste is discarded in open dumpsites, which serves as the waste management option for 3-4 billion people. These sites are also where thousands, if not millions, of independent waste collectors recover materials which may be reused or sold into commodities markets. Even with limited transparency and data on open dumpsites, we know that the transition to systems that eliminate the externalities and impacts of open dumpsites, either through site and operating upgrades and improvements, or developing new disposal options, will require careful consideration of a community’s social and environmental needs alongside the political, economic, and physical realities.

      Through this session, we will hear from a diverse set of panelists from around the world actively seeking to transition from open dumpsites to systems that more effectively capture and contain waste generated, reducing the risk and impacts of open dumpsites on communities and the environment, and ensuring healthy and productive lives for members of the communities they are working in.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.3

      Title

      Session Removed from Conference
    • Track ID

      TS-6.4

      Title

      SOLVING PLASTIC POLLUTION IN ASIA BY BUILDING INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND COOPERATION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Yong-Chul Jang (Professor, Chungnam National UNIVERSITY, Vice President and International Chair of Korea Society of Waste Management), Sea-Cheon Oh (Professor, Kongju National University)

      Short description

      This session focuses on how to solve plastic waste problems in the Asia region by building international cooperation and partnerships with tools of policy measures and available technologies.

      Full description

      Solving plastic pollution in Asia towards a circular economy, which is the 7th IMDC in 2022 special session topic, can be a platform in the field of plastic waste management to draw international attention and deliver the significance and consequences of resources recovery from the wastes. In Asia, the most plastic pollution in oceans, streams, and rivers has been found in the decades. As a result, serious threats of ecosystems by the pollution is widely occurring.

      The aim of this special session is to promote knowledge exchanges and experiences in the field of solving plastic pollution in the Asia region and the implementation of political measures along with recycling technologies. Thus, we sincerely wish all participants and audiences to share their knowledge and experiences among international experts and professionals to promote mutual understandings in plastic pollution and recycling during this session.

      7th IMDC 2022 would like to invite all of you in Asia, America, EU and around the world to explore and strengthen the network among academic and field professionals in plastic waste management well as the world’s concerns on plastic pollution.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.5

      Title

      PROMOTING MARINE LITTER PREVENTION/MANAGEMENT AWARENESS AND REGULATIONS IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH - WITH A FOCUS ON WEST AFRICA

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Dr. Felicia Chinwe Mogo (Founder/President, African Marine Environment Sustainability Initiative – AFMESI), Captain Sunday Umoren (Executive Secretary of the Abuja MoU on Port State Control)

      Short description

      The Technical Session will analyse how institutions and communities in the Global South (focus on West Africa) are coming up with effective strategies for managing/preventing marine litter pollution.

      Full description

      Marine litter has evidently presented itself as a global major concern in terms of its negative impact to the marine environment and human in general , hence one of key importance of this upcoming conference. Marine litter is one of the main deterrents to cities and countries, achieving their Blue Economy goals. This issue is visible in the West African sub-region. Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, will be the nation of focus for the Technical Session presentation to be chaired by Dr. Mogo. Nigeria has a coast line of over 850sq. Kilometres and over 300 inland water ways. The marine environment is Nigeria’s, major foreign exchange earner through crude oil exports. Fish stocks are said to be the nation’s second highest GDP booster, apart from other scientific and traditional values of marine environment. Having several littoral states and vast inland waterways, Nigeria is not left out from the affects of marine litter (including plastics) pollution. From Onitsha to Warri to Bonny and many more, coastal and inland channels of Nigeria, waterways are being stressed by heaps and pockets of marine litter with tremendous impact to socio-economic, health and cultural values. According to the NIMASA/UNEP project report of 2016, plastics form up to 50% of wastes collected at marine litter hot-spots. A World Bank report has it that Nigeria generates up to 1.15 million tons of plastics per year. The Lagos State Waste Management Authority reported in 2015 that, Lagos State (the most populous coastal city in Africa with a population close to 25million) generated 4.59 millions tons of waste per year.

      Apart from impeding the swift navigation of vessels and destruction of vessel’s components, the adverse impacts of marine litter to the economy are of great concern including its escalation of flooding in the hinterland and so on. This is in view of its affects on tourism and biodiversity especially leading to “ghost fishing” and reduction in quality. These impacts on fishing to a large extent, interfere with total well-being and deepening poverty of the coastal communities that depend on fish as the major source of food/protein source and as a quick means of disposable cash. Marine litter form breeding places for disease-carrying vectors and destroys the aesthetic value, creates anoxic zones in the marine environment.

      By way of the Technical Session, we want to share examples of how institutions and communities in the Global South are coming up with their own strategies for managing and preventing marine litter pollution, based on a pilot project titled: “NIMASA/UNEP on identification of marine litter hot-spots and clean up of water ways in Lagos”. The project eventually formed the basis for further clean up actions in Nigeria, engagement of local communities in clean ups, massive awareness creation and the development of the — “Maritime Action Plan for Marine Litter Management and Campaign Concept in Nigeria”. This project was attracted to Nigeria by Dr. Felicia Mogo and she co-ordinated it and delivered. Hence, with her as the Chair of the Technical Session, she will be able to ensure perfect sharing of the knowledge that can lead other Nations to launch into action.

      A comparative analysis will be done with select nations of the Global North as well. Nigeria has developed regulations and the aforementioned task force aimed at tackling the menace of marine litter and plastic pollution. Community-based initiatives are also being driven by non-governmental Organisations (NGOs) like AFMESI. The Technical Session presentation will also highlight new ideas and practical solutions for advancement in marine litter management/prevention.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.6

      Title

      DRIVERS FOR SUCCESS OF PLASTIC WASTE MANAGEMENT INITIATIVES IN COUNTRIES WITH HIGH OCEAN LEAKAGE

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jean-Baptiste Grassin ( Managing Director @Nomad Plastic Ltd, Head of Project Development @Plastic Odyssey), Hanna Dijkstra (PhD Researcher at the Vrije Universiteit, Netherlands)

      Short description

      Plastic waste management projects are struggling to thrive and make a significant impact in low- and middle-income countries but by breaking down these initiatives into their main drivers, we can identify key factors to make plastic recycling successful.

      Full description

      Our session will discuss frameworks, tools and research that seeks to identify relevant characteristics to consider when developing a plastic waste management initiative in low- and middle-income countries. These frameworks can be based on literature and stakeholder input, and we welcome examples from a diverse sample of plastic waste management initiatives. These case studies can quantitatively or qualitatively describe how certain characteristics are positively or negatively related to the success of the initiatives. This session will demonstrate the wide variety of waste management initiative options and hopes to aggregate best practices from these initiatives. The lessons learned from these case studies can be used to design better initiatives and also identify key leverage points or weak spots that can be addressed by policies, investors or research.

      Social entrepreneurship is at the core of plastic waste management initiatives and with it many different aspects are to be analyzed, from the economic to social and management dimensions. We welcome submissions that discuss social entrepreneurship in the context of plastic waste management across all their dimensions: politics, economics & market, financial sources, tech & operations, social, team & management as well as legal.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.7

      Title

      INNOVATIONS FOR PLASTICS CIRCULARITY IN ASEAN AND KOREAN ADVANCES

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Junu Shrestha (Snr Environmental Specialist, World Bank Group), Won-Tae Shin (Technical Expert, World Bank)

      Short description

      The session is intended to building an understanding of plastics innovation needs among ASEAM Member States (AMS) and to share development and innovations in RO Korea and beyond.

      Full description

      ASEAN Member States (AMS) are facing serious challenges in waste management as a result of rapid population growth and urbanization which ultimately exacerbate an internationally critical problem, i.e., marine debris. Among the top 20 rivers that generate marine plastic pollution, 7 are located in the ASEAN region. Limited policy on solid waste management, lack of awareness on the need of recycling and poor capacity to handle the solid wastes are the main causes of the complex issues of solid waste management among the AMS.

      Many of the AMS are actively responding to plastic waste issues. Recently, ASEAN developed a bold ambition to combat marine debris through the ASEAN Regional Action Plan (RAP) for Combatting Marine Debris in the AMS (2021-2025). The RAP focuses on solving plastic debris problems through policy reform, research and innovation, public awareness and capacity building, and private sector engagement. The holistic approach of the RAP will be successful when innovative solutions already proven to be successful will be adopted by the AMS. In order to support the efforts of ASEAN on combatting marine debris, the World Bank Group (WBG) has set out a regional program on marine plastics, entitled “Southeast Asia Regional Program on Combatting Marine Plastics (SEA-MaP).”

      There are a range of innovative solutions already available around the world. However, there exist huge gaps between what are needed in the sites in AMS and what can be provided from the developed countries. Therefore, supporting custom-tailored policies and technologies which will be useful and applicable to the AMS is one of the keys to the success of the support program. In this line, the WBG Korea Office (WBG KO) also has intention to support the efforts of AMS through bridging innovative technologies and policies on plastics circularity from the developed countries such as RO Korea, Singapore and EU with AMS. For example, RO Korea’s volume-based waste fee (VWF) system, advanced collection and transport system supported by high-tech equipment, sanitary landfill and other alternative solutions might be of interest to the AMS. A compendium of innovative solutions on plastics circularity which contains bankable projects is being prepared by the WBG KO which will be demonstrated in selected AMS in 2023 and onwards. The compendium will feature plastics solutions in the areas of innovative technologies, innovative packaging, and innovative business models.

      The WBG KO Session will bring together key stakeholders of the AMS and investors of innovative technologies and policies on plastics circularity in AMS for mutual interests and common understanding on the application in AMS. Innovative technologies and policies will be presented with open and insightful feedbacks from the AMS stakeholders. The outcome of the session is expected to be translated into the project concepts for possible funding opportunities from various funding institutions in support of the combat against marine plastics in AMS.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.8

      Title

      MEASURING CIRCULARITY IN CITIES THROUGH THE URBAN OCEAN PARTNERSHIP

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Taylor Maddalene (Circularity Assessment Protocol Director and PhD Student, Circularity Informatics Lab, University of Georgia), Keri Browder (Cities Project Director, Ocean Conservancy)

      Short description

      Data sharing and lessons learned from implementing the Circularity Assessment Protocol in 6 cities across 5 countries from the first cohort of Urban Ocean cities.

      Full description

      Urban Ocean is a cooperative partnership between The Circulate Initiative, Ocean Conservancy, and Resilient Cities Network that works with city leaders to bring new ideas, partners, and resources together to solve interrelated problems around waste reduction and management. It aims to demonstrate how actions to increase circularity can provide holistic, resilient, and sustainable solutions that not only reduce ocean plastic pollution but also address key city priorities such as improving public health, promoting innovation, supporting economic development and job growth, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through a capacity building and accelerator program for cities.

      As part of Urban Ocean, the Circularity Informatics Lab at the University of Georgia conducted a Circularity Assessment Protocol (CAP) in collaboration with a local implementation partner (LIP) in each of the six cities from the first cohort. CAP is a standardized assessment tool to inform decision-makers by collaborating at the community level to collect data on plastic usage and management. CAP results provide baseline data for Resilient Cities Network’s Opportunity Assessment Tool, which ultimately contributes to the development of proposal(s) for interventions by the cities that will be presented at an Accelerator Summit for review and support.

      This panel session will present CAP findings and share experiences from the first cohort of Urban Ocean cities: Can Tho, Vietnam; Chennai, India; Melaka, Malaysia; Panama City, Panama; Pune, India; and Semarang, Indonesia. This includes comparative data across the cities related to formal and informal waste management, product use and availability, consumer perspectives, waste leakage, and opportunities to build circular economy practices. The panel will consist of researchers from UGA, partners from Urban Ocean, and LIPs from the cities who implemented CAP in the field. The intention for this panel is to highlight the findings from the CAPs, share lessons learned between the cities, and demonstrate the importance of using data from tools like CAP to drive policy and investment. This event will act as a platform to promote data-driven decision making, collaborative partnerships, and invite those interested to reach out about opportunities for engagement.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.9

      Title

      PLASTIC REDESIGN: A CRITICAL SOLUTION TO PLASTIC POLLUTION

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Erica Nuñez (Program Officer, Plastics Initiative at The Ocean Foundation)

      Short description

      In order for the global community to move towards an authentic circular economy for plastic, there needs to be a systemic change in how plastics are produced.

      Full description

      Plastic pollution is found in every part of the ocean from its depths to its shores–it washes in from land, from rivers, and from ships. 50 years of exponential growth in plastic production has created more than 500 years of durable, persistent pollution. But the use of this versatile, innovative material in today’s society is virtually unavoidable.

      The global community has rallied in recent years to bring attention to the plastic pollution crisis and identify key solution areas. In the development and evolution of plastic manufacturing, and in the set of solutions to prevent plastic from polluting our planet, one key area hasn’t received enough attention: “How can we design plastic so that it can be easily recycled?” Product-focused campaigns and solid waste management are well-discussed but there is a lack of movement on production-focused activities to address plastics at the source and embed the fundamental elements of the whole life cycle of plastics in public policy.

      By redesigning plastic before it even reaches the end user, and focusing on recovery, recycling, and reuse, we will reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, or unintentionally lost to waterways and stop it from ever getting to our ocean. By shifting the conversation from why plastics are made, to how plastics are made and what we make from plastic, we can guide manufacturers toward a production-based solution to this global problem.

      Currently, only approx. 21% of plastic produced is even theoretically recyclable, indicating that there is a design flaw that contributes to the lack of a fully circular economy for plastics. A true circular economy for a variety of plastic materials is adversely affected by both a lack of capacity to recycle what can be recycled and the limited (if any) ability to recycle a whole range of polymers and polymer combinations.

      The redesigning of plastic products to be more circular has been identified as one of the key solutions needed to make an impact in preventing. This panel will include a variety of stakeholders and experts who will discuss the challenges and opportunities in designing plastics to be more circular. The panel could include experts from:

      • The scientific community to provide context on the complexities of plastic material design and how it contributes to the lack of recycling opportunities;
      • Waste management to discuss the challenges their sector faces in regards to plastic waste and what opportunities redesigning plastics to be more circular would provide;
      • Consumer brand to provide their perspective on the redesigning of plastic for a circular economy and potentially provide an example of successes they’ve had in this area;
      • A retailer to discuss their role in the plastics value chain and to give examples of how they are implementing priorities to move towards a more circular economy for plastics;
      • International governance sector, such as UNEP, to give their perspective on how policies to encourage the redesigning of plastics from a health and sustainability perspective is critical to a successful circular economy model.
    • Track ID

      TS-6.10

      Title

      TRANSFORMATIONAL TECHNOLOGY TO ADVANCE THE CIRCULARITY OF PLASTICS

      Format

      Presentation and Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Martyn N Tickner (Chief Advisor Circular Solutions, Alliance to End Plastic Waste), SeungJin Kim (Senior Advisor Design for Circularity, Alliance to End Plastic Waste)

      Short description

      Presentation of leading-edge industry initiatives pioneering sorting and recycling technologies which address major pain points and enable transformational changes towards a circular economy of plastics.

      Full description

      The Alliance to End Plastic Waste is a global non-profit organization bringing together industry, government, civil society, development agencies and investors to eliminate plastic waste leakage into the environment and to accelerate a circular economy of plastics. The Alliance currently has ~70 member companies from across the plastics value chain and is differentiated from many other organizations through access to funding that enables the execution of large-scale demonstration and impact projects, supported by deep expertise and a holistic cross-value chain view.

      Plastic is a versatile material that is used in numerous applications, ranging from the simplest low-cost and convenient consumable items to high performance packaging applications and sophisticated components for information technology, automotive, infrastructure, medical and aeronautical applications. This extraordinarily broad range of application has led to a complex spectrum of products, counted in the tens of thousands. Plastics are not simply “plastic”, but in fact highly engineered products specifically developed for individual uses and demanding performance.

      This creates a huge challenge in the transition to a circular economy. The Alliance has identified six gaps – Quality, Design, Affordability, Quantity, Alignment and Data – which need to be addressed to bring about circularity. Closing these gaps requires large scale adoption of improvements in each of Reduce and Reuse, Product & Packaging Design, Collection, Sorting and Recycling, supported by the right financial structures and social engagement.

      Recycling will be one of the key components of a circular economy and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste is supporting industry defining projects designed to address some of the most significant pain points and opportunities for transformation.

      One such project is Holy Grail, originally conceived by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation with a number of major brand owners, technology providers and other industry participants. Now as the project moves into commercial demonstration, it is powered by the Alliance to End Plastic Waste. Holy Grail utilizes imperceptible digital watermarks to enable very accurate sorting of mixed plastic waste to provide high quality feedstock for mechanical recycling. This in turn will enable the supply of high quality recyclates for incorporation into new products and unlock a circular economy.

      Another industry defining project is under development jointly with the CEFLEX association, developing and building a commercial scale plant to demonstrate answers to a number of critical questions relating to recycling flexibles – the technical and economic boundaries of mechanical recycling; the extent to which design guidelines facilitate recycling of films; the complementary roles of mechanical and chemical recycling; the means to ensure financial viability.

      The Alliance is engaged in the development of many innovative solutions; one further example illustrated here is a game changing end-of-life solution, in which plastic waste which cannot be viably mechanically or chemically recycled is processed into a cement additive for structural applications, including poured cement. This technology is being pioneered with partner company CRDC in full scale demonstration in Costa Rica and USA and offers a significant net carbon reduction through improved performance of the cement and carbon capture from flu gases of the cement industry.

    • Track ID

      TS-6.11

      Title

      Session Removed from Conference
  • TRACK 7

    Economics, Financing, and Private Sector Engagement (8 sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-7.1

      Title

      PLASTIC CREDITS - AN ESSENTIAL INSTRUMENT FOR CORPORATE PLASTIC ACTION?

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Vincent Kneefel (Circular Economy Director at Plastic Credit Exchange), Dominic Santschi (Co-Founder at Ampliphi). Contributors: Nanette Medved-Po (Founder and Chairperson at Plastic Credit Exchange)

      Short description

      We can be the generation that solves the plastic pollution crisis - learn how companies can utilize plastic credits as part of a comprehensive solution set to the plastic problem.

      Full description

      The planet needs us. Over eight billion tons of plastics threaten the environment from over eighty years of commercial production, and at least three hundred eighty million tonnes continue to be introduced into circulation each year. Stakeholders across the ecosystem are working diligently to present scalable and sustainable solutions to overcome this crisis.

      In the hopes of fueling a plastic circular economy, this session presents 'plastic accounting' and 'plastic credits' as part of a solution set that enables companies to stop the flow of plastics into nature. Plastic Credit Exchange (PCX) and Ampliphi invite you to participate in a comprehensive discussion on the best practices and experiences regarding plastic accounting and plastic credit systems. Join if you wish to learn how companies can accelerate a circular economy and why our generation can solve the plastics pollution crisis.

      Plastic accounting assists companies in better understanding the environmental, social, and financial consequences of their plastic use so that they can identify opportunities for improvement. By measuring and analyzing a company's plastic footprint, decision makers can decipher the best strategies for corporate action and capital deployment. After all, you cannot manage what you don't measure.

      Plastic credits present an opportunity for corporate action that directly addresses plastic pollution within voluntary or compliance markets through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). Offsetting a plastic footprint ensures that producers who cannot yet remove plastics from supply chains do their part to ensure these do not wind up polluting the environment. And if done well, this novel financing instrument can serve as a bridge to make sure we are addressing an important problem today, rather than waiting until we find a better solution tomorrow.

      Plastic credits take their cue from the lessons in the carbon credit space. This improved approach takes into consideration the various requirements for a crediting system to work well which includes: (1) standard development and globally accepted definitions, (2) mechanisms to provide full transparency and traceability, (3) guarding against miscounting or double counting, (4) regulations regarding granularity based on geography, plastic types and processing, and (5) impact monitoring and reporting.

      To avoid unintended consequences, it is crucial that plastic credits and offsetting are used in combination with a holistic circular action strategy. As defined by the Science-based Targets initiative (SBTi) for climate action, companies should prioritize internal mitigation efforts over offsetting wherever possible. This principle also holds true for plastic action: do your best, offset the rest.

    • Track ID

      TS-7.2

      Title

      Session Removed from Conference
    • Track ID

      TS-7.3

      Title

      ALDFG ORIGAMI: SEAFOOD INDUSTRY FOLDING GHOST GEAR INTO CSR METRICS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Ingrid Giskes (Director, Global Ghost Gear Initiative), Sara Pfeifer (Partnerships Manager, Global Ghost Gear Initiative)

      Short description

      GGGI members include some of the largest seafood wholesalers, retailers, certification schemes and fishing companies. GGGI will introduce the companies dedicated to preventing and reducing ALDFG in their supply chains.

      Full description

      Through different sustainability strategies and initiatives, the seafood sector has tremendous potential to reduce the amount of abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) entering the ocean. Companies involved in the purchase, processing and value adding, distribution, sale and certification of seafood, can ensure their raw material is procured from responsible and well managed fisheries that minimize the potential for—and consequences of—ALDFG. Likewise, in cases where gear loss occurs, these companies also have the ability to foster improvement from within the fisheries themselves, while certification schemes can provide important incentives and urgency to do so.

      This session will highlight GGGI’s engagement with seafood industry members through application of the GGGI’s Best Practice Framework. This tool provides businesses - including producers, retailers, restaurants, and seafood certification bodies - with guidance to conform with best practice by, for example, working with suppliers to offer capacity-building around the issue and enter Fisheries Improvement Projects. It also highlights other areas for business to make an impact, including providing funding for and participating in research to help quantify drivers of gear loss, providing consumer information and awareness-building, and engaging in ALDFG removal efforts. This panel showcases distinct approaches that are moving the needle to the challenge of gear loss in the private sector, including but not limited to the following:

      Bumble Bee Seafoods is a global seafood company with a bold set of commitments to protect the ocean and those dependent on it. As part of this strategy, they are partnering with GGGI on ALDFG prevention work in Indonesia. Specifically, this project focuses on gear marking at the manufacturer level, exploring recycling opportunities, and removing ALDFG. In 2021, Bumble Bee generously provided $1.07 million USD to the GGGI for, among other activities, 1) analysis of their supply chain to identify instances of gear loss occurrence; 2) administering of a hotspot mapping and a removal project, 3) investment in the ongoing enhancement of GGGI’s data portal.

      Thai Union Group is a leading producer, and one of the largest producers of shelf-stable tuna products. In 2018, they joined forces with the GGGI to address ALDFG and published the first dedicated work plan to achieve set goals for ALDFG. The work plan includes: promoting and raising awareness of the topic and the GGGI; implementing a Thailand-based project to understand the rates and cause of gear loss rates and identify solutions for end-of-life gear with their suppliers; and integrate ALDFG-reduction efforts into their Fishery Improvement Projects.

      Certification schemes: In 2017 relatively few certification standards focused on aquatic litter issues, with only three of the 16 sustainability programs including waste in their standards. Since then some of the largest programs such as Fair Trade USA, MSC, Seafood Watch and MSC are considering ghost gear - setting important industry standards.

    • Track ID

      TS-7.4

      Title

      SEA CIRCULAR: PRIVATE SECTOR ENGAGEMENT FOR PLASTIC CIRCULARITY

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Vincent Aloysius (Program Management Officer - United Nations Environment Programme UNEP)

      Short description

      Supporting countries in Southeast Asia achieve their roadmaps to prevent plastic pollution, SEA circular project brings together the private sector and other actors in the value chain to accelerate circularity.

      Full description

      Private sector engagement is crucial for the shifting the needle in efforts towards plugging plastic waste leakage to prevent marine plastic pollution. The national plastic waste prevention roadmaps of countries in Southeast Asia depend on achieving more circularity in the plastic value chain. Extended producer responsibility (EPR) is recognized as one of the key pathways in achieving circularity. To this end, engaging with the private sector to encourage collaboration between actors in the plastic value chain is a key factor for success.

      In this session, we wish to highlight the cross-cutting projects supported by SEA circular, projects encouraging collaboration between the private sector, producer responsibility organizations, government agencies, and civil societies to support the enablement of EPR with the right policies to support private sector in meeting their EPR responsibilities as well as to encourage innovative business models that can lead to circularity. These projects develop and apply knowledge assets covering the emerging plastic credit mechanism as well as linkages to help sensitize and raise awareness on human rights and gender related matters particularly when depending on plastic waste collection, sorting and management services provided by the informal sector.

      This session aims to present practical experiences and lessons learned by project implementing partners of SEA circular. It will also showcase the development and progress of producer responsibility organizations, recommendations from research and analysis on the evolving plastic credit scheme landscape, and technical recommendations from multi-stakeholder teams within the projects focusing on the enablement of policies.

      The session aims to provide knowledge and experience sharing by the implementing partners of SEA circular Project. It is hoped that knowledge and experience gained from the private sector engagements in enabling EPR and circularity will benefit project developers from the lessons learned, insights gained and recommendations proposed. We are hopeful that these projects can contribute to successful future projects to make further progress on preventing marine plastic pollution."

    • Track ID

      TS-7.5

      Title

      EMERGING LIABILITY RISKS CONNECTED TO PLASTICS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Alice Merry (Consultant in Inclusive and Sustainable Finance, UNEP)

      Short description

      Emerging trends in legal liability cases around plastics, from greenwashing to plastic pollution, and their impact for business and the finance sector.

      Full description

      The first wave of legal cases around plastics, from greenwashing to plastic pollution has now been launched. Based on recent research from UNEP and ClientEarth, this session explores three key emerging liability issues connected to plastics and how they impact on business and the finance sector.

      We will explore emerging liability trends around the world connected to greenwashing, the impacts of chemicals in plastics on human health, and end-of-life plastics. The session will also explore the possible implications of these trends for businesses and for the finance sector that funds and insures them. The session will include legal experts as well as international financial and regulatory experts. Together they will examine the building momentum behind holding companies legally liable for the damage created by plastics.

    • Track ID

      TS-7.6

      Title

      Fostering partnerships to address marine litter in Wider Caribbean Region (Part 1 of 2)

      Format

      Presentations and Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Fadilah Ali (Assistant Executive Director, Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute) Christopher Corbin, (Programme Officer, UNEP Cartagena Convention Secretariat)

      Short description

      A Regional Marine Litter Node Supported By A Regional Legal Agreement: Facilitating Cooperation And Action On Marine Litter At Multiple Levels In The Wider Caribbean Region

      Full description

      The Caribbean Node of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML-Caribe) was formed in 2015 and represents a partnership for national and regional organizations, governments, research and technical agencies, and individuals that work to reduce the quantity and impact of marine litter in the Wider Caribbean Region. The Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) and the Secretariat for the Cartagena Convention (UNEP/CEP) are the co-hosts of the GPML-Caribe. GCFI organizes activities including workshops and technical sessions and provides capacity-building opportunities, and information to stakeholders whilst UNEP/CEP ensures synergies with the obligations of its Contracting Parties and supports implementation of the LBS Protocol and the Caribbean Regional Strategy and Action Plan for Marine Litter whilst also providing support for national and regional marine litter projects and national policy and legal reforms. Both GCFI and UNEP/CEP bring their own networks and mutually work together to achieve greater impacts among governments, private sector, research community and local communities.

      The Convention for the Protection and Development of the Marine Environment of the Wider Caribbean Region (Cartagena Convention) is the only agreement governing marine litter issues specific to the Caribbean region and is achieved through the Protocol Concerning Pollution from Land-Based Sources and Activities. This LBS Protocol enables the WCR states to meet the goals and obligations of international and regional agreements and to address priority areas. The complex hydrography of the Caribbean region enables the dispersion of marine pollutants in the region and the combination of various equatorial currents with other meso- and micro-scale currents facilitates the dispersion of pollutants throughout the region. Due to limited space, minimal recycling options, and restricted markets for solid waste, many countries within the WCR are unable to sufficiently deal with the quantities of waste produced locally.

      The GPML-Caribe has mobilized funding, supported several projects, contributed to research and knowledge and has been catalytic in bringing multiple partners together representing different interests. The Node has been solutions driven and has developed a strategic approach guided by a marine litter management strategy and action plan. The aim of this session is to highlight how a Regional Node supported by a Regional Agreement can facilitate cooperation and action on marine litter in the WCR via multiple innovative approaches including:

      • Developing a marine litter strategy to identify priority actions for developing project proposals and assist in resource mobilization
      • Developing National Action Plans through Government partnerships
      • Developing and implementing community interventions and/or solutions
      • Development and implementation of harmonized methods of marine litter monitoring whilst fostering international collaboration
      • Conducting feasibility studies and research on emerging issues including microplastics, remote sensing and alternatives to single use plastic packaging
      • Collaborating with international organizations to minimize the occurrence and impact of ALDFG in extreme weather events
      • Collaborating with the private sector to create community focused projects targeted at improved solid waste management and awareness and for sharing best practices and experiences
      • Catalyzing donor partnerships and new projects.
      • Utilizing innovative communication approaches for outreach, education, attitudinal and behaviour change and supporting on the ground project implementation
    • Track ID

      TS-7.7

      Title

      METHODOLOGIES FOR CALCULATING THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF MARINE DEBRIS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Amy V. Uhrin Chief Scientist (NOAA Marine Debris Program), Karen Raubenheimer (Senior Lecturer, Australian National Centre for Ocean Research and Security)

      Short description

      This session will provide insights into the methodologies used in previous studies to calculate the costs of marine debris to foster much needed research in this area.

      Full description

      The economic costs of marine debris are the benefits lost to society by the impacts of debris. These economic costs are felt across many sectors including producers, consumers, waste management, aquaculture, fisheries, commercial shipping, recreational boating, local coastal governments, coastal tourism, and emergency response services. The economic costs associated with marine debris can be direct (i.e., costs to marine users, industry), indirect (i.e., impacts to natural capital and ecosystem services), remedial (i.e., costs for clean up), preventative (i.e., costs to reduce inputs), and systemic (i.e., total cost to humanity to solve the issue). Some economic sectors are both sources of and burdened by marine debris (i.e., aquaculture, fisheries, tourism and shipping) while others are sources of marine debris but not directly burdened by it (i.e., certain producers, consumers). To date, few studies have addressed the costs to society associated with marine debris, limiting the ability to construct effective and efficient policy instruments. In particular, the economic damage function associated with marine debris is not particularly evident; thus, there is a need for science to engage in the economic process to develop a working definition for what the marine debris damage function is.

      In this session, we will explore the economic concepts and theory relevant to the impacts of marine debris. Presenters will discuss the methodologies adopted in studies that have calculated a component of the cost of marine debris, providing a framework for conducting their studies as well as the lessons learned during implementation. The challenges in collecting the required data and disaggregating the damage function attributed to marine debris will be a primary focus. Emphasis will also be placed on possible indicators for tracking the various costs to better inform policy interventions and assess the cost-effectiveness thereof. Linkages to existing statistical frameworks will be highlighted and their possible role in establishing baseline information on damage costs, as well as intervention costs, at the national and global levels. This information could be helpful in determining the effectiveness of market-based instruments beyond the trends provided by environmental monitoring programmes.

    • Track ID

      TS-7.8

      Title

      HARNESSING STRATEGIC SUPPORT TO ADDRESS MARINE PLASTIC POLLUTION

      Format

      Panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Alice Merry (Consultant in Inclusive and Sustainable Finance, UNEP), Jackie McGarry (Manager, Global Ghost Gear Initiative)

      Short description

      Curbing marine plastics requires mobilizing and scaling public and private investment. This session explores financing opportunities and highlights one program aimed at bridging the gap with resources and mentorship.

      Full description

      Ending marine plastic litter requires mobilizing public and private finance on a new scale. UNEP's research into existing financial resources dedicated to the topic highlights the high costs for member states involved in tackling marine plastic pollution. Meeting these requires a range of actors, including multilateral and bilateral donors, private finance entities, non-profit funders and governments, as well as increased leveraging of public-private financing. The inventory of financial resources put together by UNEP highlights unmet needs for financing for initiatives focusing on preventing the problem of plastic litter before it enters the ocean, such as investing in design, production and manufacturing for circularity, as well as challenges for many countries and community-based initiatives accessing existing funds.

      For small NGOs addressing abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) — known as one of the most destructive forms of marine plastic pollution — accessing knowledge and securing sustainable funding represents a limiting factor in making progress on the issue. The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) Small Grants Program represents one method for applying a public-private solution, working as an incubator to connect organizations from around the world to grant funding, share knowledge on funding mechanisms, project development, and delivery, and offer strategic mentorship opportunities to support the efficacy of small NGOs working on this issue.

      One portion of the panel discussion highlights the success of this program in addressing ghost gear, describing how the GGGI Small Grants financing model can help prevent, mitigate, and remediate ghost gear through funding and mentorship. The panel will also consider lessons learned from work in a variety of geographies and contexts, as well as discuss the barriers to small NGOs working to address ghost gear.

      More broadly, this session will build on the findings of UNEP’s investigation into financial resources for tackling plastic pollution, exploring opportunities to expand financing and help countries and organizations meet their goals to end plastic pollution. It will showcase speakers from a range of stakeholder groups, from international funders to small-grant programs and community-based initiatives. It will begin as a panel discussion, followed by time for questions.

    • Track ID

      TS-7.9

      Title

      Fostering partnerships to address marine litter in Wider Caribbean Region (Part 2 of 2)
  • TRACK 8

    Sea-based Sources (14 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-8.1

      Title

      ADDRESSING GLOBAL DATA GAPS ON GHOST GEAR AND OTHER MARINE DEBRIS

      Format

      Presentation-based with possible panel discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Kirsten V.K. Gilardi (Director, Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis), Ingrid Giskes (Director, Global Ghost Gear Initiative). Contributors: Francois Galgani, IFREMER (French National Institute for Ocean Science).

      Short description

      Global data gaps on geographic distribution and quantification of ghost gear and other marine debris must be closed: this session will highlight information from regions under-represented in the scientific literature.

      Full description

      Despite a very significant body of scientific work on marine litter and its sources, quantities and impacts, certain gaps in our knowledge and understanding remain. These gaps warrant further investigation to inform prevention and mitigation strategies that can be applied locally, regionally and globally. In particular, there is a great need to better understand the type, quantity and impact of sea-based sources of marine litter in most areas of the world. And while there is a high degree of focus on plastic debris and microplastics due to their accumulation and persistence in ocean ecosystems, it is increasingly clear that the form of marine debris that is most impactful on, and harmful for, marine life is abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded (also known as ‘ghost’) fishing gear.

      The majority of the scientific literature on sea-based sources of marine debris (e.g. fishing, shipping, mariculture) report on studies performed in the eastern and western North Pacific, the North Atlantic, and the Mediterranean. Too few studies share data from the South Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. And until recently, it has been commonly stated that ‘640,000 tonnes of abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear are lost in the ocean every year’. This estimation, however, is not well substantiated. More scientifically rigorous estimations are needed to help instigate and guide policies for reducing the loss of fishing gear, and a much greater degree of geospatial coverage and resolution sufficient to describe large-scale patterns of sea-based sources of marine debris distribution at a global scale is needed. The objective of this session will be to serve as a platform for the sharing of existing and new data on sea-based sources of marine debris from parts of the global ocean that are currently under-represented in the scientific literature.

      Presentations on studies from the South Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans will be prioritized, with presentations presenting first reports for other regions also encouraged. As well, presentations that address where we currently stand with regard to a global estimation of ALDFG, and what further lines of inquiry must be pursued to solidify a global estimation, will be included. The overall objective of this session will be to both acknowledge and encourage presentations from peers who are actively monitoring and/or researching sea-based sources of marine debris in parts of the world for which the global marine debris community lacks knowledge on the degree to which ocean activities are contributing to the global marine debris burden.

      The Session Chair, a member of the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) Working Group 43 on Sea-based Sources of Marine Debris, and Co-Chair, Director of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, will moderate the session.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.2

      Title

      INTERNATIONAL EFFORTS TO ADDRESS SEA-BASED SOURCES OF MARINE LITTER

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jon Lansley (Fishery Industry Officer, FAO), Fredrik Haag (Head of the Office for the London Convention/Protocol and Ocean Affairs at the International Maritime Organization)

      Short description

      In this session, FAO and IMO will present the ongoing international efforts to address marine litter from sea-based sources from a political, legal and scientific point of view.

      Full description

      IMO has recognized the importance of preventing pollution by garbage including plastic from ships since the adoption of MARPOL Annex V that came into force in 1988, as well as the prevention of pollution from dumping of various types of waste, including plastics, into the sea through the 1972 Convention on the Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter (London Convention or LC) and its 1996 Protocol (London Protocol or LP). In October 2018, the seventy-third session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) also recognized the importance of continued action to manage this global issue with the development of an “Action Plan to Address Marine Plastic Litter from Ships (IMO Action Plan)”.

      Furthermore, FAO and its Members have recognized, and raised concern about Abandoned, Lost and otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG), as a significant component of marine plastic litter which has serious impacts on habitats, fish stocks and other marine species, particularly through ghost fishing, and as a navigational hazard and risk to safety at sea. In this line, in July 2021, the Thirty-third Session of the Committee of Fisheries (COFI33) endorsed the Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear (VGMFG) to support the provisions of FAO’s Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The marking of fishing gear is widely recognized as a tool for addressing ALDFG. The VGMFG provides guidance for the development of gear marking systems as well as reporting and retrieval of lost gear and appropriate disposal of end-of-life gear.

      The IMO Action Plan builds on existing policy and regulatory frameworks, and identifies opportunities to enhance these frameworks and introduce new supporting measures to address the issue of Sea-Based Marine Plastic Litter (SBMPL), while also stressing the close inter-linkages with fisheries, dumping of wastes at sea, as well as land-based sources of marine litter. The IMO Action Plan also identifies opportunities to synergise its efforts with the actions undertaken by FAO and foresees that both agencies will jointly explore opportunities to facilitate the implementation of the action plan, in particular those elements that are related to fisheries.

      IMO-FAO collaboration efforts include co-leading the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML), the technical secretariat of GESAMP Working Group 43 on Sea-based sources of Marine Litter and the implementation of the GloLitter Partnerships Project.

      In this session, IMO and FAO will present an overview on their joint initiatives including other relevant research initiatives like the GESAMP Working Group 40 on Sources, Fate and Effects of plastics and micro-plastics in the marine environment, sponsored by IMO; and the FAO fishing gear loss surveys implemented together with other partners like the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI).

    • Track ID

      TS-8.3

      Title

      Session Removed from Conference
    • Track ID

      TS-8.4

      Title

      CHARTING THE COURSE TO TACKLE SEA-BASED SOURCES OF PLASTIC POLLUTION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Christina Dixon (Deputy Ocean Campaign Lead, Environmental Investigation Agency)

      Short description

      A session to explore latest knowledge and policy options for tackling sea-based sources of plastic pollution - drawing in particular on latest developments at IMO and the potential global plastics treaty.

      Full description

      The most recent report from GESAMP - the group of independent scientific experts that provides advice to the UN system on scientific aspects of marine environmental protection - noted as a principal finding, "sea-based activities and industries contribute to the global burden of marine litter, and that this warrants concern largely because synthetic materials comprise significant portions and components of litter entering the worldʹs oceans from fishing, aquaculture, shipping, ocean dumping and other maritime activities and sources. Furthermore, certain types of sea-based marine litter, such as ALDFG, are known to impact marine resources, wildlife and habitats”.

      GESAMP has done extensive work on collating the latest research and estimating the relative contribution and impacts of different sea-based sources of marine litter, the identification of data gaps and priorities for further work, and also on quantifying the environmental, social and economic impacts of ALDFG. Recent studies have also started to draw out lesser known sources, such as the impacts of microfibre abrasion from ropes and microplastic pollution from ship paints and anti-foulants, in particular suggesting that the scale and severity of these incidences are more significant than previously thought.

      In 2018, IMO Members adopted the IMO Action Plan to Address Marine Plastic Litter from Ships. The resolution acknowledges the importance of preventing marine plastic pollution from ships and the contribution IMO can make to delivering the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Though the Covid-19 pandemic and the busy agenda of the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee has meant slow progress on pursuing actions related to the measures identified, there has recently been a renewal of attention on sea-based sources, particularly in the wake of the catastrophic X-Press Pearl incident, which is largely thought to be the worst ever plastic pollution spill at sea.

      The work IMO is undertaking in the context of the Action Plan must be part of a globally coordinated effort addressing both plastic and microplastic pollution at source and across all economic sectors. Many of the interventions to address plastic pollution at sea begin on land and the work of IMO cannot happen in isolation, nor stop at port. With much of the focus rightly on land-based sources and the necessary terristrial interventions to prevent plastic pollution, this session aims to bring together researchers and policy-makers who specialise in sea-based sources of plastic pollution to discuss some of the most pressing threats and pontential policy solutions. In particular, speakers will explore the current gaps in global governance and the role of a potential new plastics treaty for filling these, as well as identifying which actions IMO should be prioritising within the scope of the existing Action Plan.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.5

      Title

      CONNECTING DATA REPORTING, MULTI-STAKEHOLDER PARTNERSHIPS AND GEAR RETRIEVAL PROTOCOLS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Hannah Pragnell-Raasch (Consultant, Global Ghost Gear Initiative), Marina Petrovic (Assistant Director of Resource Management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

      Short description

      Being the most harmful forms of marine debris, effective data collection, multi-stakeholder collaboration and safe retrieval protocols are essential to prevent, mitigate and remediate ALDFG.

      Full description

      Abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), also known as ghost gear, refers to fishing gear that is no longer under harvester control, regardless of the circumstance of such loss. Though fishers do not typically want to lose gear, to a degree, loss is inevitable wherever fishing takes place for a variety of reasons. It can include such factors as lack of access to and/or high costs of shoreside collection facilities, inclement weather, snagging on objects beneath the surface, conflict/entanglement with other gear, and intentional discard, often related to illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing.

      Multiple organizations around the world have made efforts to record data on ALDFG, but these have mostly been disparate and in some cases incidental. As such, there is currently no substantiated figure quantifying the amount of ALDFG currently in the ocean nor the global leakage of gear entering the ocean, annually. To help alleviate this, and to bring disparate data sets together, the GGGI created its global data portal (https://globalghostgearportal.net/).

      Gear loss reporting is typically localized and voluntary, usually carried out by research and/or clean up organizations. Organisations – such as Myanmar Ocean Project and Emerald Sea Protection Society – operate at a voluntary level, combining gear retrieval with data reporting. Rarely is gear loss reporting mandated by governments as a condition of licensing, though some are taking this approach. One example is the Canadian government’s mandatory no-fault reporting system (https://internet.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/en/login). This online reporting system allows fishers to quickly and easily report gear loss directly to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, contributing valuable data to inform fisheries management decisions and domestic gear removal efforts. When reports are made in accordance with regulations, the fisher assumes no fault for the gear loss, and gear that is reported lost and later recovered can be returned to its owner, thus providing incentive for fishers to use the system and report gear loss accurately.

      A similar no-fault system was implemented at a local level In Washington state through a partnership between the Northwest Straits Foundation and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife whereby fishers can report gear loss directly to the Northwest Straits Foundation under a 'no-fault' process and vessels are dispatched to search for and retrieve the gear before it can cause lasting damage.

      Whilst preventative measures are the preferred approach to dealing with ALDFG as they avoid the occurrence of ALDFG in the first place, mitigative and remedial measures are essential to reduce the impact of gear should it become lost and to remove gear that has become lost. Accurate and scientific data collection is a key piece of building a quantitative information regarding the types, amounts and locations of lost fishing gear present in the aquatic environment. It is essential to informing meaningful policy change, identifying future removal opportunities and helping prevent gear ending up in the ocean in the first place.

      This technical session will examine the interlinkages between accurate and systematic data collection, multi-stakeholder collaboration, and gear retrieval operations in successfully managing ALDFG.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.6

      Title

      A BEST PRACTICE TOOLKIT FOR REDUCING ALDFG IN AQUACULTURE OPERATIONS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Joel Baziuk (Associate Director, Global Ghost Gear Initiative), Tim Huntington (Director, Poseidon Aquatic Resource Management, Inc)

      Short description

      Gear loss is not just a wild-capture issue. Here we discuss the GGGI’s Best Practice Framework for the Management of Aquaculture Gear and its implementation across the aquaculture value chain.

      Full description

      The Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) is a cross-sectoral alliance committed to driving solutions to the problem of lost and abandoned fishing gear worldwide. It is the established lead platform for the global community to unite under to improve the health and productivity of marine ecosystems, protect marine life from harm, and safeguard human health and livelihoods. The work of the GGGI is focused on ghost gear, but also directly impacts on the issue of marine plastics and microplastics, and provides tools for effective action against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. One of these tools is the GGGI Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear (C-BPF) which has been endorsed by UN FAO and adopted by many of the GGGI corporate seafood members and governments to ensure proper gear management in their supply chains and fisheries management policies to prevent, mitigate and remediate gear loss. The GGGI recognizes it is critical to work with industry stakeholders to ensure implementation of best practices lead to lasting change.

      To date, most research around ALDFG and its impacts has been mainly focused on wild capture fisheries. However, recent evidence suggests that the aquaculture sector is also a major contributor to ALDFG due to inclement weather, aging equipment and on occasion, lack of implementation of proper maintenance routines. Our Sea of East Asia Network (OSEAN) has done extensive research around the coast of Korea and found that aquaculture based debris makes up approximately 50% of the items found on the shoreline. The GGGI has recently released a Best Practice Framework for the Management of Aquaculture Gear (A-BPF) to complement the existing C-BPF on wild capture fisheries. As with the C-BPF, the framework is based on research, literature review, industry practice and stakeholder/industry feedback. As with the C-BPF before it, the A-BPF underwent a global industry consultation led by Ocean Outcomes (O2) that will further shape this into a practical and applicable tool. The A-BPF is the first document of its kind to recommend best practices to address gear loss and other plastic leakage across the aquaculture industry. The A-BPF includes a relative risk assessment for gear loss and plastic leakage from various other sources from various aquaculture systems and a series of preventive, mitigative and remedial measures to address gear and plastic loss from aquaculture operations. The document also includes specific, practical guidance and recommendations for 11 stakeholder groups linked to the aquaculture value chain on how they can help prevent, mitigate and remediate the issue.

      This panel will examine the magnitude of the ALDFG challenge in the aquaculture sector as well as some of the recommended best practices outlined in the GGGI A-BPF. Panelists will also provide insight from several different stakeholder perspectives, including the aquaculture industry itself, global restaurant chains, retailers and governments on how they are applying the A-BPF in practice and the potential transformative effect it can have on the sector.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.7

      Title

      HIGH LATITUDE LITTER - EMERGING SOURCES, SCIENCE, AND SUCCESSES IN ARCTIC MARINE LITTER

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Peter Murphy (Regional Coordinator - Alaska, NOAA Marine Debris Program), Veronica Padula (Assistant Director, Ecosystem Conservation Office, Aleut Community of Saint Paul Island)

      Short description

      This session will bring together members of the community working on the emerging and long term issues of marine litter in the Arctic, sharing their observations and lessons learned on challenges, successes and opportunities in removal, research and prevention.

      Full description

      Marine litter has been found in the most remote corners of the global ocean. This includes the Arctic, where litter is being encountered in ice, air, and water along with the more common and visible shoreline settings. The types of litter are also evolving, from consumer items to derelict fishing gear but also microplastics and microfibers. Each of these types presents unique challenges in terms of potential impact, but also in terms of the best processes to detect, quantify, assess and understand their prevalence and potential risk or threat in the environment. Many of these impacts are especially important given the challenges of food insecurity and local resource dependence that exist in many communities in the Arctic.

      Work on marine litter in the Arctic dates back decades. More recently, there has been expanded focus on the issue, with new data showing the prevalence of marine litter across environmental compartments. The issue has also become a focus for the Arctic Council, with multiple working groups initiating projects specifically focused on marine litter. PAME (Protecting the Arctic Marine Environment) has led the formation of a Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter in the Arctic, designed to capture and communicate priority actions for understanding and addressing marine litter across the Arctic. In parallel, AMAP (Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme) has worked with an expert group to create monitoring guidelines and plans to provide the framework for measuring the status and progression of marine litter in the Arctic over time. These efforts, combined with the many individual projects across the Arctic on removal, research, and prevention, point to the growth of the issue in the Arctic, but also of the efforts to understand and address it. This session will bring together members of the community working on the emerging and long term issues of marine litter in the Arctic, sharing their observations and lessons learned on challenges, successes and opportunities through existing and future projects.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.8

      Title

      TECHNOLOGIES AND METHODOLOGIES FOR LOCATING ALDFG IN SMALL-SCALE FISHERIES

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Kyle Antonelis (Natural Resources Consultants, Inc.), Joel Baziuk (Associate Director, Global Ghost Gear Initiative). Contributors: Joan Drinkwin (NRC, Inc), Dr. Sol Milne (PhD, University of Aberdeen), Dr. Chris Wilcox (CSIRO).

      Short description

      Cost doesn’t have to create a barrier for small-scale fisheries wanting to remediate ALDFG. In coastal environments, innovative technologies can help to identify lost fishing gear.

      Full description

      Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is the most harmful form of marine debris, damaging sensitive species and habitat, fish populations, coastal economies and fisher livelihoods. Once gear is lost, it can remain underwater, making it challenging to identify, locate and recover. Traditional methods include visual surveys from vessels, aircraft, divers, side scan sonar and grappling. Each survey method is suited to a particular environment, and can have significant associated costs, including vessel, aircraft, or sonar rental, fuel, personnel time, etc. For small-scale fisheries looking to address ALDFG, these survey methods may be out of reach due to a lack of resources. However, innovative and comparatively less expensive methods and technologies can be useful for identifying gear in near-shore coastal environments, including desktop predictive models and use of Unoccupied Aerial Vehicles (UAVs).

      As ALDFG surveys can be expensive, it is prudent to first establish where gear loss is likely to occur and accumulate. Local knowledge from fishers, divers, and resource managers can provide this essential information. Additionally, desktop studies and predictive models using geographical information systems that overlay various accessible datasets - including fisheries effort, gear types used, oceanographic and benthic data, weather patterns, vessel traffic, and other data - highlight where gear loss and/or accumulation is likely to occur. ALDFG surveys conducted within potential “hot spot” areas can ground truth the predictive models, which can be refined as more locations are identified. Predictive models have been developed by NRC, and where these models have been tested, assisted in locating concentrations of ALDFG and, with local knowledge, guided successful gear recovery projects. Predictive models help to focus surveys and promote efficient resource use, shed light on the potential extent of ALDFG, and inform where to target efforts.

      Proliferation of UAVs over the last decade has made aerial reconnaissance more realistic and affordable. UAVs can be flown in controlled or automated transects with high stability, making them ideal for surveying large areas in a short amount of time with excellent image quality and minimal effort. In near-shore coastal fishing environments, where gear loss often includes gillnets or traps/pots, the shallow or rocky reef benthic habitat lends itself well to UAV surveys, relying on good water visibility. Surveys can be run with relatively inexpensive UAVs by local operators to periodically monitor for the presence and accumulation of ALDFG over time within specific areas or MPAs. However, identifying ALDFG still takes considerable time, particularly when done by human eyes. To alleviate this bottleneck, artificial intelligence programs can detect and differentiate between different types of ALDFG in aerial images with a high degree of accuracy, reducing or eliminating the need to search through thousands of images. Development of the survey methodology and the machine learning process is ongoing.

      This session will explore these and other methods and technologies for remote ALDFG prediction and detection within the context of small-scale fisheries in near-shore coastal environments. This session will include speakers showcasing these and other approaches, followed by ample time for audience questions.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.9

      Title

      NANCI’S STORY: NET RECYCLING ACROSS BORDERS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Ingrid Giskes (Director, Global Ghost Gear Initiative). Andrew Rhodes (Special Envoy for Oceans and Biodiversity, Undersecretary for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mexico)

      Short description

      Ghost gear doesn’t recognize borders. The North American Net Collection Initiative unites neighboring countries - the US, Canada and Mexico - to effectively and creatively tackle fishing gear loss and end-of-life gear.

      Full description

      Following the joining of the Government of Mexico of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI) in 2020, the North American Net Collection Initiative (NANCI) was created as a GGGI-lead first-ever transboundary initiative to prevent ALDFG in the coastal waters of the western U.S., Mexico, and Canada. The Initiative is funded by a consortium of private-public partners including the U.S. National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

      In this session, we will introduce ghost gear and the management of end-of-life fishing gear as a cross-border and transnational issue that needs to be tackled by collaboration between governments, NGOs, and the private sector. During this panel we will showcase how a common problem can be approached by countries with different languages, cultures, and levels of development. We will share knowledge, and discuss how collaborative best practices could prevent ALDFG and inspire other governments to partner.

      GGGI will present NANCI, an umbrella initiative that brings together multiple stakeholders from three countries to collaboratively address ALDFG, and therefore, to protect marine life and its ecosystems, valuable fish stocks as well as reduce navigational hazards.

      The NANCI project will enable the creation of a sound knowledge base on ALDFG in Mexico; will provide capacity building on GGGI’s Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear; will facilitate the creation of a Mexican national action plan addressing ALDFG; will remove ALDFG from critical habitats; will provide fisher and fisheries stakeholder outreach-education; will improve collaboration between 3 GGGI signatory countries to implement practices to prevent ALDFG; and will promote safe disposal of end-of-life gear and facilitate the transformation of end-of-life fishing gear into high-value consumer products.

      Panelists will share knowledge on the status of ghost gear in Mexico. Mexico’s Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources will present evidence on the presence of ALDFG in Mexico, and Natural Resource Consultants, Inc. will present the predictive model developed and the findings of the research of the mapping of high concentration points of ALDFG. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will present on Mexico’s commitment to build a national ALDFG action program that will be multidirectional, multisectoral, and that will include protocols for prevention, mitigation, and remediation. Panelists will also present how the country's commitments are connected to the High Level Panel for a Sustainable Ocean Economy and to the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).

      Bureo, Inc. will present how they engage stakeholders across the fisheries supply chain and train them on responsible and safe disposal of end-of-life fishing nets. They will describe the processes of establishing net collection points and how nets are transformed into high-value consumer goods.

      Bureo, Inc. will present how they engage stakeholders across the fisheries supply chain and train them on responsible and safe disposal of end-of-life fishing nets. They will describe the processes of establishing net collection points and how nets are transformed into high-value consumer goods.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.10

      Title

      BARRIERS AND OPPORTUNITIES FOR A CIRCULAR APPROACH TO FISHING GEAR

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Paritosh Deshpande (Associate Professor at NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway), Joel Baziuk (Associate Director, Global Ghost Gear Initiative). Contributors: Falk Schneider (Asst. Researcher, National Cheng Kung University, Taiwan)

      Short description

      Options for managing ghost gear vary significantly, depending on both region and context. In this session, discover how different sectors approach challenges and establish best practices to tackle this issue.

      Full description

      Plastic debris is an ever-growing concern adversely affecting coastal and marine ecosystems. Among marine plastic pollution, a particularly troublesome waste is Abandoned, Lost, or Discarded Fishing Gear (ALDFG), also known as derelict or ghost fishing gear, that continues to trap marine life for years and has significant impacts on aquatic species, habitats, coastal economies and global food security. Gear can be lost or discarded for a number of reasons. In addition, inadequate, expensive or non-existent port reception facilities (PRFs) can lead to mismanagement of gear and, occasionally, intentional discard of end-of-life gear into the aquatic environment as a last resort. The European Union, via the Single Use Plastics Directive and accompanying Port Reception Facilities Directive is developing an action plan to close the plastics-loop in the fishing industry and promote gear recovery and recycling across Europe. Under this new legislation, all EU Member States will need to implement an extended producer responsibility (EPR) program for fishing gear by 2025.

      There remains no global consensus on the estimated amount of ALDFG entering the ocean each year. A lack of data and regional variations in the specific causes for gear loss can hinder the development of contextually appropriate solutions to mitigate the marine pollution arising from fishing gears. The existing research on the management of ALDFG suggests the need to:

      • a) engage multiple stakeholders across the life cycle of fishing gear
      • b) generate evidence around the volume of and causes ALDFG entering the ocean and other aquatic environments
      • c) identify key intervention points across the value chain of fishing gears
      • d) implement best practices for fishing gear management
      • e) support and expand gear recycling solutions from design to end-of-life (or cradle to grave)

      While EPR programs covering fishing gear will help to alleviate some of this burden, the recycling of end-of-life gear presents a compelling opportunity to give new life to otherwise discarded, devalued materials. In ideal circumstances, the costs of responsible disposal could be earned from the recycling and reuse of fishing gear and its materials, but expansion of these programs generally incurs additional costs in the form of increased transportation and logistics.

      This panel brings together stakeholders from multiple sectors, including academia, legal, the private sector, and non-government organizations. The session will begin with presentations from researchers investigating material flows and system thinking for fishing gear, those at the forefront of European EPR development, the companies and NGOs creating incentives for fishers to responsibly return used gear to be recycled into high value consumer goods and high quality recycled raw plastic, followed by a robust Q and A session with the presenters. We invite contributions that generate evidence on ALDFG, investigate fishing gear management schemes, provide holistic solutions, or focus on optimizing individual life cycle parts, including design, production, usage, repair, and retrieval, recycling, and disposal schemes.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.11

      Title

      DEAD IN THE WATER - MANAGING ABANDONED AND DERELICT VESSELS TO RESTORE COASTAL SHORELINES

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Sarah Latshaw (Marine Debris Program Southeast Regional Coordinator, NOAA), Mark Manuel (Marine Debris Program Pacific Islands Regional Coordinator, NOAA)

      Short description

      To share perspectives from across nations on common issues arising from abandoned and derelict vessels, in hopes to help communities improve how they manage ADV issues in the future.

      Full description

      The issue of abandoned and derelict vessels (ADVs) is both chronic (e.g., abandoned recreational vessels), and acute (e.g., a hurricane pushing hundreds of vessels into wetlands). ADVs threaten our ocean and coasts by obstructing navigation, damaging sensitive habitats, and diminishing commercial and recreational activities. Addressing ADVs is a complex issue—ADVs often sit unaddressed for months and years in the marine environment because of lack of funding, jurisdictional ambiguities, and lack of coordination.

      The underlying causes of vessel abandonment vary; they include accidents, negligent or financially unstable owners, intentional grounding in the conduct of illegal activities, and natural disasters. The legal, technical, and cost-recovery challenges vary depending on the type of vessel and the circumstances of its abandonment. Removal costs also vary depending on the size and construction of the vessel, the location, natural resources at risk, salvaging logistics and availability, and available disposal options.

      Many vessel owners lack the financial assets and insurance to remove a displaced, damaged, or sinking vessel, especially after a storm. Many nations do not require insurance coverage for removal and towing costs. In addition, the cost of the removal may exceed the insured value of the vessel. Some landfills will not take vessels (especially if contaminated with oil and other hazards such as lead paint or asbestos) or require them to be broken down at added cost.

      ADVs also present challenging social issues, as they can become refuges for the people experiencing homelessness, illegal dumping sites for trash and hazardous waste, and havens for illegal activity such as illegal drug production. Some vessel owners may lack the knowledge or resources to prepare their vessels for a storm, and others may be unable to move their vessels to safe harbors. For many communities, assessing, tracking, removing, and disposing of these vessels is complex and requires significant financial resources. Often this leads to vessels persisting for years in a watery purgatory while agencies try to coordinate funding and authority for removal.

      This proposed technical session will bring together ADV experts from all over the world, representing federal, state, and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, universities, and industry to highlight their community’s ADV challenges and successes. Presenters will share their ADV stories and discuss topics about coordination, funding, policies, prevention, disposal, and successes and challenges, whether chronic or disaster-related. The goal of the session will be to share perspectives from across nations on common issues arising from abandoned and derelict vessels, in hopes to help communities improve how they manage ADV issues in the future.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.12

      Title

      ZEROING-IN ON ALDFG THROUGH A POLICY LENS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Ingrid Giskes Director (Global Ghost Gear Initiative), Marina Petrovic (Assistant Director of Resource Management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)

      Short description

      This session will examine several unique policy mechanisms targeting ALDFG, including those enacted at the national, regional, and international levels, and reflect on other potential approaches.

      Full description

      To effectively address abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) on a global scale requires an all hands on deck approach. While industry, NGO, and academics all bring their own unique competencies to the issue, governments, UN agencies and multilaterals can and are implementing distinct and pertinent policy instruments to address ALDFG within their respective jurisdictions and beyond. This panel focuses on existing policy mandates that seek to prevent, mitigate, and remediate ALDFG, and explores gaps that could be addressed through legislation or policy measures. The development of policies around ALDFG can stem from broader fisheries management, plastic waste, or circular economy directives or local enactment of international guidance. The panel will highlight policy instruments utilized by both Government and UN agencies and regional bodies.

      Government Agencies:

      • In 2019, Canada established its “Ghost Gear Program,” resulting in the recovery approximately 5,828 units of lost gear and supporting disposal projects, piloting of technology, and international leadership. They are now identifying areas for future removal and recycling activities in Canada’s northern communities and analyzing data from the recently launched Fishing Gear Reporting System, to better understand the extent of gear loss.
      • Norway is commonly cited for their robust legislation and management actions for ALDFG, particularly through a fisheries management lens. The Norwegian government requires traceability for all legally deployed fishing gear and was able to successfully encourage the fishing industry to adopt these standards. Regulations also require persons to search for gear, and immediately report the loss when recovery is not possible.
      • Panama is addressing ghost gear through dedicated gear removals by trained divers from the Autoridad de los Recursos Acuáticos de Panamá (ARAP). The program includes locating lost fishing gear, diver training on safe and environmentally sound removal methods, fishing sector outreach, and removal and disposal of recovered gear. The government is also considering new management measures to limit the amount of gear aboard a vessel at any given time.

      Regional Bodies:

      • One example of regionally developed strategies is the EU strategy for plastics in a circular economy, addressing the issue of marine litter from plastics. The proposal focuses on single-use plastics and fishing gear with intent to establish binding quantitative EU-wide collection targets. Another example of cooperative agreement can be seen in the OSPAR Convention, which relies on the coordination efforts of its 15 member governments plus the EU to reduce ALDFG in the north Atlantic geographic region through the Regional Action Plan for Marine Litter (RAP).

      International Agreements:

      • The only international legally binding instrument addressing ALDFG is the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (1973) as modified by the MARPOL Convention Annex V and administered by IMO. Other important voluntary instruments are the UN FAO Voluntary Guidelines for the Marking of Fishing Gear and the UN FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. In addition, the inclusion of fishing gear will be considered in the UNEA 5.2 negotiations on a new global legally binding treaty to address plastic pollution.
    • Track ID

      TS-8.13

      Title

      A REGIONAL APPROACH TO ALDFG: A CARIBBEAN CASE STUDY

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Fadilah Ali (Assistant Executive Director, Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute), Jackie McGarry (Manager, Global Ghost Gear Initiative)

      Short description

      The Caribbean is vulnerable to extreme weather events, resulting in fishing gear loss. Here we will give an overview of regional strategies for the prevention, mitigation and remediation of ALDFG.

      Full description

      Abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) is an issue of significant concern for many regions of the world and the Caribbean is no exception. This is particularly true given the effects of climate change and the resulting increased frequency and intensity of storms that pass through the region. Severe weather causes gear loss across the Caribbean, harming fisher livelihoods, export markets, and aquatic species and ecosystems. To combat this, several organizations - including the Global Ghost Gear Initiative (GGGI), the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI), the Global Partnership on Marine Litter - Caribbean Node (GMPL-Caribe), and the UK Center for Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) - have been working in the region to help prevent and mitigate the effects of ALDFG.

      The GGGI has been working in the Caribbean since 2018, with an initial focus on Belize, Grenada, Jamaica and Montserrat. The GGGI’s efforts with local partners and fishers in the region are focused on understanding the key drivers for gear loss in the region and implementing holistic solutions tailored to each country. Key project elements include:

      • Predictive modeling and hotspot analysis: surveys are conducted with fishers to determine the causes and locations of lost fishing gear. This data is compiled into a predictive model which indicates the likelihood of finding lost or abandoned fishing gear in a particular region.
      • Physical verification surveys: the predictive model is tested using a number of verification methods including snorkel and dive expeditions or side scan sonar. When these methods are unavailable, the GGGI has begun testing the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
      • Targeted gear removal: Based on the results of the predictive model and the verification surveys, gear is removed from critically sensitive habitat and areas with high vessel traffic and gear conflict.
      • Capacity building workshops on best practices with fishers and relevant stakeholders.
      • Trials of innovative technology designed to make recovery of lost gear easier, and to reduce the impacts of ghost fishing where gear has been lost.
      • Development of a regional ALDFG action plan, including identifying gaps in end-of-life solutions for fishing gear.

      Additionally, the GCFI has been working with the GGGI, GMPL-Caribe and others to support some of the work outlined above and to create a series of outreach and information products - including posters and infographics - aimed at fishing communities in the wider Caribbean region to highlight the problem of ALDFG and its effects on the local environment. Cefas has worked with GGGI and the World Bank to develop a checklist for a parametric insurance product for Caribbean nations which would see reduced insurance premiums for participating countries who implement preventive measures ahead of major storms such as pre-emptive recovery of deployed gear. GGGI is working with the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) - representing 17 Caribbean nations - to develop a regional ALDFG action plan.

      This panel will consider the various pieces of work ongoing in the Caribbean on ALDFG and explore opportunities to bring similar initiatives to other Caribbean countries.

    • Track ID

      TS-8.14

      Title

      UNTANGLING: INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS FOR SPECIES PROTECTION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q & A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Joan Drinkwin (Vice President, Natural Resource Consultants, Inc.), Ingrid Giskes (Director, Global Ghost Gear Initiative)

      Short description

      Fishing gear is designed to catch aquatic species, but when lost, can devastate target and non-target species. Learn how innovators are advancing collaborative strategies to prevent ghost fishing.

      Full description

      While abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG) can wreak havoc in the marine environment, certain gear types are more prone to the entanglement of fish, sharks and rays, and aquatic mammals, reptiles, and birds. In this session, GGGI presents on the activities of member NGOs and fishing gear innovators, and highlights the complementary nature of their efforts to address animal entanglement. It will feature the role of NGOs in collecting data on entanglement incidences, and collaborating directly with fishers to address gear loss and entanglement within specific fisheries. In addition to the remediative aspects of this valuable work, fishing gear innovators will showcase how they are working to ensure that gear is well designed and sensitive to its potential impact if lost as a preventative tool.

      Cornwall Seal Group Research Trust (CSGRT) collects data on seal entanglement rates related to lost fishing gear and publishes on this issue. They also photo identify approximately 100 individual entangled seals annually. Working actively with rescue partners and rehabilitation centres, CSGRT’s data can accurately quantify trends in wild seal and seabird entanglement rates against baselines. Working with its network of partners, CSGRT is well placed to assess the impact on seals and seabirds of any gear modifications made.

      The Center for Coastal Studies has freed more than 200 large whales and other marine animals from life threatening entanglements since 1984, using techniques developed by Center staff. Over the years CCS has also disentangled other marine animals, like dolphins and porpoises, seals and sea turtles. Through a partnership with the International Whaling Commission (IWC), CCS also works as part of the Global Whale Entanglement Network (GWERN) which aims to build a worldwide network of professionally trained and equipped entanglement responders.

      The Marine Mammal Center advances global ocean conservation through rescue and rehabilitation, scientific research, and education. The Center’s Whale Entanglement Response and Prevention program responds to whales in distress, often due to entanglements in fishing gear. The Center also conducts vessel surveys to inform risk assessments for whale entanglement off California, to reduce risk of entanglement in the Dungeness crab fishery.

      Blue Ocean Gear is a technology company focused on preventing gear loss and mitigating entanglements through innovation. Working with commercial fishers, they developed Smart Buoy technology that tackles the issue of ghost gear at the source. The buoys allow fishers to track their gear at all times and receive alerts if it moves beyond a certain threshold, indicating a potential loss or entanglement event. Tracking deployed gear on the water means safer retrieval, Blue Ocean Gear has deployed their Smart Buoy with fishers in multiple distinct locales globally working together in GGGI signature projects such as Jamaica, Grenada and Vanuatu, on gear types including traps, and FAD's. Additional gear innovators and technology companies might be asked to join this presentation as well.

  • TRACK 9

    International Collaboration (10 Sessions)

    • Track ID

      TS-9.1

      Title

      REGIONAL COORDINATION TOWARDS A REDUCTION OF MARINE LITTER IN THE NORTH-EAST ATLANTIC: AN OVERVIEW OF OSPAR’S LATEST MARINE LITTER WORK

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Jennifer Godwin (Technical Assistance for the OSPAR Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter), Philip Stamp (EIHA Deputy Secretary, OSPAR Commission)

      Short description

      A look at OSPAR’s new Regional Action Plan ML, 2021 assessments of seafloor, beach and floating litter, marine litter assessments for the Quality Status Report, and OSPAR’s Recommendation on reducing plastic pellet loss.

      Full description

      OSPAR is the mechanism by which 15 Governments & the EU cooperate to protect the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. The fifteen Governments are Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and United Kingdom.

      OSPAR Ministers adopted a new Environment Strategy in October 2021. The Strategy commits to taking action to halt and reverse biodiversity loss, prevent and eliminate pollution, including marine litter and underwater noise, and mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change and ocean acidification on the marine environment. It sets 12 strategic objectives for achieving good environmental status in the marine environment including to prevent inputs of and significantly reduce marine litter, including microplastics, in the marine environment to reach levels that do not cause adverse effects to the marine and coastal environment, with the ultimate aim of eliminating inputs of litter.

      OSPAR’s marine litter strategic objective is to prevent inputs of and significantly reduce marine litter, including microplastics, to reach levels that do not cause adverse effects to the marine and coastal environment with the ultimate aim of eliminating inputs of litter.

      Specific OSPAR reduction targets have been defined for marine litter – to reduce the prevalence of the most commonly found single-use plastic and maritime-related plastic items on beaches by 50% by 2025 and 75% by 2030.

      This session will look at the work completed by OSPAR since the 6IMDC to reduce marine litter in the North East Atlantic, and look towards OSPAR’s action plan to achieve its objectives and targets as set out in the NEAES.

      OSPAR completed its first Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter (RAP ML) in 2021. Building on the lessons learnt from that pioneering example of international coordination on marine litter issues, OSPAR has adopted its second RAP ML in 2022. This session will explore the lessons learnt, and how they have been incorporated into the development of OSPAR’s RAP ML 2. The newly adopted actions of the RAP ML 2 will be implemented between 2022 and 2030.

      Monitoring and assessment are core OSPAR activities. Marine litter indicator assessments are currently made for beach litter, seafloor litter and ingestion of litter by Fulmars and sea turtles, providing an essential evidence base to support and evaluate national and collective measures. Additional indicators, for example on microplastics in sediments, are under development. This session will present an overview of the latest results.

      Every ten years, OSPAR completes a Quality Status Report (QSR) for the North East Atlantic. The latest QSR is under development and due to be adopted in 2023. The Marine Litter Thematic Assessments to support the QSR has been completed and will be summarised in this session.

      Finally, focussing on a specific measure adopted under OSPAR’s first RAP ML, this session will summarise the work OSPAR has completed to develop a Recommendation on a pellet loss certification schemes. The OSPAR Recommendation and supporting guidelines were adopted in 2021 and help to create coherence in national approaches to implement external certification schemes.

    • Track ID

      TS-9.2

      Title

      Session Removed from Conference
    • Track ID

      TS-9.3

      Title

      Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Global Action on Marine Litter in the East Asian Seas and Northwest Pacific

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Mahesh Pradhan (Interim Coordinator, Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia -COBSEA), Yegor Volovik (Ph.D. Coordinator, Northwest Pacific Action Plan - NOWPAP)

      Short description

      COBSEA and NOWPAP aim to share with targeted stakeholders the latest practical solutions and innovations as well as advanced policies to strengthen partnership for enhanced and more impactful investments

      Full description

      Background: Marine litter and plastic pollution are a transboundary challenge that threaten coastal and marine ecosystems and the health and prosperity of communities around the globe. Countries in the East Asian Seas and Northwest Pacific region both contribute to global plastic use and waste and are recipients of global waste trade and vulnerable to the impacts of pollution. Concerted action and coordination in the region are crucial to identifying and achieving global goals to tackle marine litter. Countries in the region have demonstrated willingness and initiative to address plastic pollution at the national, regional, and global level.

      Regional Seas programmes provide an important country-driven mechanism for cooperation, capacity building, knowledge sharing, and to link national efforts and global commitments. Member countries of the Coordinating Body on the Seas of East Asia (COBSEA) and the Northwest Pacific Region (NOWPAP) have adopted Regional Action Plans on Marine Litter (RAP MALI) to guide evidence-based action on land-based and sea-based sources of marine litter, improve monitoring and assessment of marine litter, and facilitate knowledge sharing and cooperation. The East Asian Seas and Northwest Pacific Regional Nodes of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML) provide regional mechanisms for knowledge exchange, data sharing, and capacity building. COBSEA and NOWPAP offer intergovernmental platforms to coordinate action and promote regional priorities in the negotiation of an international legally binding agreement to end plastic pollution in the wake of the 5th United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA-5).

      Aim: This session will explore opportunities to strengthen regional cooperation and concerted action on marine litter to meet national needs, in line with regional priorities, toward tackling the global threat of plastic pollution. Representatives of COBSEA and NOWPAP will share initiatives and solutions from the region and invite stakeholders from member countries to discuss how the existing regional mechanisms can be leveraged to strengthen partnerships and cooperation toward tackling marine litter globally.

      The session will take place in a hybrid format and be moderated by [COBSEA/NOWPAP].

      Target audience: Representatives and stakeholders from COBSEA and NOWPAP countries, as well as other Regional Seas programmes, regional organizations in the East Asian Seas and Northwest Pacific, and development partners.

      Programme (tbc): Chairs: Mr. Yegor Volovik (NOWPAP), Mr. Mahesh Pradhan

    • Track ID

      TS-9.4

      Title

      URBAN OCEAN: CLEAN, HEALTHY CITIES FOR CLEAN, HEALTHY SEAS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Keri Browder (Cities Project Director, Ocean Conservancy), Saurabh Gaidhani (Programs Lead, Resilient Cities Network)

      Short description

      After launching in June 2020, Urban Ocean cities show how data and strategic global partnerships build intersectional plans to reduce plastic waste while advancing resilience and circular economy.

      Full description

      With support from NOAA, Urban Ocean, a partnership between Ocean Conservancy, Resilient Cities Network, and The Circulate Initiative brings together civil society actors, leading academics, financial institutions, and private sector leaders to develop, share and scale solutions to the ocean plastic problem that cut across silos and achieve multiple benefits.

      Ocean Conservancy’s two seminal reports, Stemming the Tide and The Next Wave, showed that one of the main ways to reduce the flow of ocean plastic is to improve waste collection and recycling systems. And while many cities are taking action, it’s often in isolation.

      Specific programming includes three primary areas of action:

      • Building public-private partnerships between cities, businesses, and financing organizations to help fund waste management and recycling systems.
      • Encouraging waste reduction and consumer recycling through education.
      • Developing model policies and sharing best practices through peer networking and exchanges.

      Together with our partners, we work to create city-led solutions that can be easily deployed and replicated so that policies or systems that work in Melaka or Milan can be shared and adapted quickly elsewhere. 'Learning Cities' are selected because of their commitment to improving waste management and creating circular systems as part of resilience-building efforts, and because of their outsized potential to provide solutions in regions with high waste leakage rates. These cities include Can Tho, Vietnam; Chennai, India; Melaka, Malaysia; Panama City, Panama; Pune, India; and Semarang, Indonesia. 'Mentor Cities' are selected because of their proven track record implementing circular economy strategies, and because of their work in the fight against river and ocean plastics. These cities include Christchurch, New Zealand; Milan, Italy; Pune, India; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Toyama, Japan; and Vejle, Denmark. Note, Pune, India was selected as both a learning and mentor city because of its significant work to date with the informal waste sector, the front line in collecting trash in many parts of the world.

      This Session aims to recap the progress of the first cohort, sharing their accomplishments, new investments, and lessons learned as well as celebrate the most recent cohort, which will be announced in June 2022.

      Each partner organization will detail their observations from the first cohort and their motivations for continuing the program in new cities. We will also invite two Chief Resilience Officers/City Official from the first cohort to discuss the policies and programs they have been leading in their cities since completing the program in spring 2022.

    • Track ID

      TS-9.5

      Title

      MARINE DEBRIS AND MICROPLASTICS: CHALLENGES AND SOLUTIONS FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Alethia Vázquez-Morillas (Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana)

      Short description

      Developing countries face specific challenges associated with marine debris and microplastics, whose solution requires innovative approaches; this session will allow to share experiences, for the benefit of all the attendants.

      Full description

      Although the presence of debris and microplastics in marine environments are global challenges, each country faces it according to its technological, organizational, and economical capabilities. In the case of developing countries, the scenario frequently includes a lack of resources - technological, economic, and regulatory -, as well as the need to address these issues amid other, commonly considered, more urgent national problems.

      In this context, creative and innovative methods and solutions have to be developed to overcome the limitations. This session aims to explore the specific challenges and solutions that researchers, governments, civil society, and private sectors have applied, in order to identify best practices, new ways to overcome traditional problems, barriers, and solutions.

    • Track ID

      TS-9.6

      Title

      CLOSING MARINE DEBRIS KNOWLEDGE GAPS TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE GLOBAL SOLUTIONS

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Sika Abrokwah (Assistant Research Fellow - Centre for Coastal Management, University of Cape Coast, Ghana), Suchana Apple Chavanich (Professor - Department of Marine Science, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand)

      Short description

      Developing a roadmap towards a more inclusive, collaborative and coordinated marine debris research that takes into account poorly studied regions particularly Africa and Asia where significant data gaps exist.

      Full description

      Marine debris is a global problem to which every country across the globe contributes in varying degrees. It is also a fact that marine debris generated in one region of the world is able to travel distances and negatively impact ecosystems far away from the point of origin. It is therefore important for sustainability that solutions have a global focus. However, research in marine litter in terms of characterization, quantification, drivers and technologies for management among others, has had a heavy focus on the high- and middle-income countries or regions of the world with a minimal focus on developing or low-income regions such as Africa and Asia.

      The paradox in this situation however is that countries in these poorly studied regions generate the highest quantities of mismanaged wastes annually, majority of which end up in the world’s ocean. Many uncoordinated efforts have been made over the years in these regions by governments, international development organisations, non-governmental agencies, academic and research institutions etc. to reduce waste generation and mitigate its leakage into the environment with little or no success. These efforts have been largely based on limited or no empirical data. If we are to achieve the global target to “prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, particularly from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution by 2025” (Agenda 2030, target 14.1) it is imperative that more attention and support is given to these regions to undertake coordinated relevant research and actions

      This technical session seeks to bring together researchers, stakeholders and actors to discuss and share their experiences and ideas on:

      • Existing empirical knowledge on marine debris hotspots in these regions
      • marine debris research areas critically needing attention in terms of geographical, monitoring and quantification, impacts and socio-economic aspects etc.
      • how focus can be directed to these regions in terms of research
    • Track ID

      TS-9.7

      Title

      DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIPS WITH COMMUNITIES AND INDUSTRY TO ELIMINATE OCEAN PLASTICS

      Format

      Panel Discussion

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Flavia da Silva (Project Management Specialist, Mission Environment Officer - USAID Timor-Leste), Eric DesRoberts (Global Engagement Director, USAID's Clean Cities Blue Ocean Program)

      Short description

      Collaboration between development organizations, across multiple geographies, can demonstrate measurable impact and mobilize public private partnerships to address ocean plastic pollution.

      Full description

      Collaboration between development organizations, across multiple geographies, can demonstrate measurable impact and mobilize public private partnerships to address ocean plastic pollution. As it relates to ocean plastics and the health of communities, USAID leads multiple initiatives and programs that have created partnerships to improve and enable communities’ wellbeing. During this session USAID will share lessons learned and successes from its collaborations in Timor-Leste and future opportunities for collaboration in Metro Manilla with organizations like KOICA.

      In Timor-Leste, the Plastics Upcycling Alliance (PUA), implemented by Mercy Corps, is designed to sustainably address plastic waste management. PUA works to address both the challenge of excessive plastic waste and the potential to develop a ‘Plastics Circular Economy’ in Timor-Leste. Through PUA, Mercy Corps facilitated the creation of the Plastics Solutions Alliance (PSA), bringing together USAID, EU, and KOICA, as well as two private sector leads (Heineken Timor-Leste and Caltech) around the shared vision of a plastics-neutral Timor-Leste.

      This partnership has resulted in nine new market-viable product lines from recycled plastic, demonstrated measurable impact through the support of over 30 Recycled Plastic Paver demonstration sites/handwashing facilities across the Dili, promoted recycling and marketing for recycled products, and provided handwashing facilities to help stop the spread of communicable diseases. The success of this program spurred significant marketing interest, resulting in an additional 41 demo sites being requested and the opportunity to create additional partnerships.

      Mercy Corps efforts in Timor-Leste have also resulted in lessons learned which may influence other USAID and ocean plastic pollution reduction strategies. USAID’s flagship program to address ocean plastic pollution, Clean Cities, Blue Ocean (CCBO) is currently working in 7 countries in Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean, and is well positioned to build on the successes of PUA and other USAID programs. It is developing partnerships to advance its efforts in all geographies of focus, and exploring a new initiative with KOICA in Metro Manila.

      Manila Bay is one of the most polluted bays in the world and it is a priority cleanup site for the Government of the Philippines. CCBO has established itself in the region issuing over $1M in grants to local organizations, training women in the waste sector, and forming partnerships with local government units and groups like the Metro Manila Development Authority and the World Bank to develop long-term waste plans for cities. As CCBO efforts expand, CCBO and KOICA are exploring opportunities to combat marine litter in Manila Bay through stakeholder coordination, data collection and management, community engagement and rigorous impact monitoring. In many ways, the work in the Philippines may build on the lessons learned from the partnership in Timor-Leste and expand collaboration to improve resiliency within communities.

    • Track ID

      TS-9.8

      Title

      INTER-GOVERNMENTAL/REGIONAL COLLABORATION THROUGH STRATEGIC FRAMEWORKS ON MARINE LITTER

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Phong Giang (Advisor in BMU Support Project Marine Litter, GIZ), Coralie Marszewski (BMUV Support Project Marine Litter, GIZ)

      Short description

      Establishing collaboration in inter-governmental/ regional bodies to tackle marine pollution through the development of Strategic Frameworks.

      Full description

      The issue of marine plastic pollution has reached a scale that cannot be solved by individual countries alone, but only together. Regional cooperation is crucial for the implementation of environmental and development policies. Countries of a region have many things in common, for example in terms of economic development or cultural and social aspects. Cooperation therefore enables not only the expansion of the value chain and trade flows, but also the exchange of information and experience in similar and hence transferable contexts.

      This session will present how the following organizations have institutionalized the issue of marine litter through the development of a strategic framework, the content of the frameworks, the targets set and the subsequent implementations, for example through action plans and pilot measures:

      • The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to strengthen regional cooperation and sustainable development in the Indian Ocean region through its 23 member states and 10 dialogue partners. Focal areas of cooperation include fisheries management, tourism, maritime safety, disaster management and trade. In view of the increasing threat to their economic resources from plastic pollution, the issue is being addressed within IORA, e.g. in the working groups on fisheries management and blue economy. With the support of GIZ, a strategic framework is being developed through a series of workshops and conferences. The strategic framework is supposed to serve as basis for national and regional action plans.
      • The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) was established in 1999 by Ministers in charge of Water Affairs in the Nile Basin countries and is a regional intergovernmental partnership of 10 Nile Basin countries. The shared vision objective of NBI is to achieve sustainable socio-economic development through the equitable utilization of, and benefit from, the common Nile Basin water resources. To achieve this objective, the NBI assumes three main core functions, i.e. facilitating basin cooperation, water resource management and water resources development. Plastic pollution impacts Nile freshwater ecosystems and so endangers its environmental and economic resources. Following the GIZ-funded study that investigated the pollution in the Nile, the project is supporting the NBI in establishing a strategic framework as a basis for formulating measures.
      • The Abidjan Convention (ABC), administered by the United Nations Environment Program, is an agreement arising from the need to adopt a regional approach for the prevention, reduction and control of pollution of marine environment, coastal waters and related river waters of West, Central and South Africa. They also acknowledge that the issue of marine litter can only be solved together, thus ABC aims to create a regional action plan that will ideally be translated into national action plans.

      This presentation is aimed among others at decision-makers in other organizations or countries and is intended to inspire them to shape intergovernmental/regional cooperation. After the presentation, participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

    • Track ID

      TS-9.9

      Title

      MARINE DEBRIS ACTION PLANS, AGREEMENTS, AND OTHER FRAMEWORKS FOR COLLABORATION

      Format

      Presentation-based with Panel Discussion

      Length

      90 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Sarah Lowe (Great Lakes Regional Coordinator, NOAA Marine Debris Program/Lynker), Thomas Maes (Senior Scientist, GRID-Arendal). Contributors: Shanelle Naone (NOAA Marine Debris Program/Lynker), Fiona Preston Wyte (GRID-Arendal)

      Short description

      Some marine debris stakeholders have taken a collaborative approach to addressing marine debris through coordinated planning, this session will explore the development, implementation, and lessons learned from these efforts.

      Full description

      Marine debris is a chronic and persistent problem around the world and we know that simply removing debris from the environment is not a long-term solution. Collaborative and effective agreements, action plans, and other frameworks are a vital step to prevent and reduce marine debris.

      Frameworks like these represent a compilation of recommended strategies and actions to prevent, research, and remove marine debris in a specific geography or transboundary area. These plans and agreements are created across and within countries, and often include federal and state agencies, tribes, local governments, non-governmental organizations, academia, and industry. The development process brings together the entities working on marine debris, creates and strengthens relationships, and increases coordination to address marine debris.

      Building off recommendations from the Honolulu Strategy, numerous action plans, agreements, and other collaborative frameworks have been developed or are currently being developed around the globe. In this time, many successes have been made, but many challenges remain. Presentations in this session will highlight particularly successful processes, goals, and strategies to address priority marine debris issues including those that focus on derelict fishing gear and aquaculture debris, wildlife and habitat impacts, abandoned or derelict vessels, emergency response, and consumer debris. Participants will hear about the successes and challenges in developing action plans and other similar frameworks and will learn valuable information on how to develop and implement a coherent and effective framework to promote exchanges and cooperation for stronger global commitments to prevent and reduce marine litter.

    • Track ID

      TS-9.10

      Title

      PLASTIC WASTE TRADE MONITORING IN THE ASIA, AFRICA REGION AND AUSTRALIA AND ITS IMPACT TO THE ENVIRONMENT AND COMMUNITIES

      Format

      Presentation-based with Q&A

      Length

      60 minutes

      Co-chairs

      Yuyun Ismawati (Senior Advisor of Nexus3 Foundation), Jane Bremmer (Campaign Coordinator, National Toxic Network, Australia)

      Short description

      This technical session highlights the dynamic and the impact of the plastic waste trade in six countries. The panellists are active members of the BreakFreeFromPlastic and IPEN. They have been collaborating in the last couple of years on the subject.

      Full description

      Since China closed the door, a significant shift in plastic waste trade globally has affected many countries in the Asia and Africa region. This technical session highlights five countries' dynamic and plastic pollution impacts on the plastic waste trade.

      As a result of pressures from the neighbouring countries and following the Basel Amendments on plastic waste, Australia has changed its export policies. However, Australia's new policy on waste export in RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel) altered the dynamic of waste trade and plastic waste management in the importing countries.

      The chair and the panellists are active members of the BreakFreeFromPlastic movement and a global NGO network of IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network).

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