Defra and the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are working in partnership to develop a National Litter Strategy. To help us, we have set up a Litter Strategy Advisory Group which includes representatives from local government, campaign groups and independent experts, as well as the packaging and fast-food industries. Other relevant Departments, such as Department for Transport, Department of Health, Home Office or Ministry of Justice will attend the Advisory Group as appropriate. Ministers from both Defra and DCLG attended an initial meeting of key stakeholders with an interest in this issue and are taking an active interest in the work of the Group. Officials from Defra and DCLG are of course in close contact on litter policy.
The National Litter Strategy will complement existing work including actions to address litter in the marine environment. It will promote concerted, co-ordinated and effective actions to reduce litter and littering on land, which in turn should lead to a reduction in the amount of litter reaching the marine environment.
The UK’s Marine Strategy sets out the actions we are taking to improve the marine environment, including what we are doing to tackle marine litter. The Strategy is approved by the Government and the Devolved Administrations. At an official level, development of the Strategy is overseen by a steering group made up of relevant officials from Defra, Defra Group partners and other relevant Government Departments. This is supported by our Clean and Safe Seas Evidence Group that includes a specific sub-group on marine litter. In addition, given the trans-boundary nature of marine litter, we work closely with other countries sharing our seas through an EU-level Technical Group on Marine Litter and an Oslo and Paris Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North East Atlantic (OSPAR) group on marine litter.