The Defra group recognises that there has been an abundance of research into marine plastic pollution. However there is limited coordination of this evidence for the Defra group to make informed policy decisions, ensure value for money and avoid duplication of work. Consequently, there is a need to conduct a workshop to support the development of the Marine and Fisheries evidence delivery action plan for marine litter, particularly for plastic pollution.
The overarching aim of the marine plastic pollution workshop/knowledge sharing session is to bring together national and international experts to review the work undertaken in the UK, EU and globally on marine plastic pollution, and understand what evidence is currently available and where, as well as identifying significant gaps. The workshop will enable the Defra group to draft an evidence delivery action plan and provide a strategic overview of the evidence to support policy and evidence needs, as well as identifying where the Defra group should focus its efforts and where efficiencies can be identified.
The outputs from the workshop will include a list of research questions/topics to help inform policy needs and decision-making. This will contribute to the UK government’s commitment made in the 25 Year Environment Plan to ‘eliminate avoidable plastic waste by the end of 2042’ and help to realise the government’s vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.