Plastics: Marine Environment

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Jamie Stone Jamie Stone Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Armed Forces), Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Defence)

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what data his Department has collected on the (a) quantity, (b) type and (c) harmful effects of plastic pollution in the UK’s marine environments.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK collects data on the quantity and type of marine litter in our waters including on seafloor litter, floating litter and beach litter, following methodologies agreed through the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic (OSPAR) Convention’s monitoring and assessment programmes. Data is available through the Marine Online Assessment Tool: https://moat.cefas.co.uk/

We fund and conduct research to improve our understanding of the impacts of plastic pollution in the marine environment. This includes an evidence review published in February 2020 which covers the impacts of marine plastic pollution, including microplastics, on marine life. This can be accessed at:

http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20339&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=ME5436&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

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