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People clearing litter in a cove. Sea and mountains in the background.

How to help reduce marine litter


We can all make a difference to reduce marine litter. But how? Here are some tips for how you can contribute to reduce marine litter in the ocean.

Get involved with beach clean-up activities

Beach clean-ups are one of the most important measures against marine litter. You can use Rydde to get a quick overview of clean-up operations in your area that you can participate in or you can create your own operations and invite friends and family to join you. Picking up litter you come across when out is another way to contribute.

Record littering

Decision-makers require information about the extent of littering, what litter is most prominent and where, as this provides knowledge and an idea of where initiatives are needed to prevent litter and reduce the existing littering in the sea and along the coast. MARFO therefore encourages everyone to contribute to citizen research and data collection so that we can implement specific and targeted initiatives to combat marine litter.

Where to contribute data

Clean-up volunteers can record what they have cleaned up and report littering using Rydde.

Those working on marine litter in a professional capacity can use Rent hav.

Remember to leave nature #asyoufoundit (#likefinsomfør)

Plastic takes a long time to decompose, leaving permanent traces in nature. Plastic that has gone astray in nature can lead to littering of rivers and watercourses and may eventually end up in the sea. Remember to always leave nature in the condition it was in when you arrived or preferably even better. Tidy up after yourself and bring your waste back home if there are no bins available in the area.

Find more tips for how you can leave nature #asyoufoundit (#likefinsomfør) from Hold Norge Rent.

Report lost fishing gear

Lost fishing gear from recreational fishing leads to ghost fishing and marine litter. Whether you find or lose fishing gear when you are out at sea, you can notify the Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries using the Fritidsfiske app. This provides clean-up organisations with an overview of litter and lost fishing gear that needs to be removed.

You will also find some great tips for what you can do to avoid losing fishing gear while out at sea.

Things you can do day-to-day

Sorting at source

Proper waste management is key to the work to prevent marine litter. If waste is not managed appropriately, we risk the waste ending up in the sea through drains, weather or wind.

Read more about the importance of sorting at source.

Reuse plastic bags

According to the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund, Norway could save 300 million plastic carrier bags each year if every Norwegian used carrier bags twice. Help reduce plastic consumption by bringing your own bags or using a shopping net when you go to the shop. Read the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund’s tips for reusing plastic bags.

Product choices, reuse and repair

More than half of fabrics that are produced today are made from or contain plastic. Clothing is made from materials such as polyester, nylon and acrylic. When you wash these clothes in a washing machine, tiny plastic pieces come loose from the garments and are then transported into the surroundings and into the sea through wash water.

The Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature has created a useful overview of environmentally friendly fabrics and how to take better care of your clothes to avoid releasing microplastics when doing laundry.

Make conscious choices and think about what your fabrics and products are made from. Remember that there are a lot of lovely things that can be bought used in excellent quality. Buying less and being a conscious consumer not only reduces the amount of plastic that ends up in the sea, it is also good for the environment and the climate.