December 2018 - In conjunction with the first international conference on marine plastics, the IMarEST hosted a roundtable event with Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) to gain fresh insights from a wider industry perspective into the challenges, management practices and attitudes of a variety of stakeholders in the marine industry regarding marine plastics.
It is clear that cross-sector engagement, contribution to global capacity-building and efforts to improve understanding will be needed to bring about impactful changes to manage marine plastics in daily practices throughout the marine industry.
This report gives an overview of the discussions at this event and establishes recommendations directly from industry considering how the IMarEST can support education efforts targeted across marine sectors.
The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST) believes that marine activities, although proportionately lower, are still a contributory source of marine plastic litter. In light of the broad environmental risks and subsequent consequences for marine services, we believe that a robust review of infrastructure to support proper disposal and management, and of common practices across marine sectors is required – one that considers the needs of different marine sectors and the drivers for plastic generation in order to identify new solutions. In addition to requirements for adequate reception facilities and reporting, it is crucial to share knowledge and good practices for reducing and managing plastics directly from operational activity widely to encourage industry-wide participation and positive uptake of action plans. Furthermore, we must ensure that as new generations move into the marine industry a new mind-set is introduced that gives consideration to wider environmental concerns.