These data provide a snap shot of beach litter surveys submitted by Citizen Scientist ‘Monitoring Groups’ up to April, 2019. As defined by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 2009), marine litter is any persistent, manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of, abandoned or lost in the marine and coastal environment. Marine litter washed onto beaches is one of the most obvious signs of marine pollution, and can have either land or sea-based origins. Land-based sources of marine litter include input from rivers, sewage and storm water outflows, tourism and recreation, illegal dumping, and waste disposal sites. Sea-based sources include commercial shipping, fisheries and aquaculture activities, recreational boating and offshore installations.
UNEP, 2009. Marine Litter: A Global Challenge. Nairobi: UNEP. 232 pp.
More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.