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Water: Marine Debris

Prevention, Control, and Reduction


Marine debris is a pervasive environmental problem. Reducing marine debris in our oceans depends on preventing items from becoming marine debris, controlling the movement of marine debris through the waterways, and removing marine debris after it enters the marine environment.

Appropriate management of wastes can prevent items from becoming marine debris. This management can occur at any point along the life cycle of a material, from the source to the disposal. Pollution prevention (P2) reduces or eliminates waste at the source by modifying production processes, promoting the use of non-toxic or less-toxic substances, implementing conservation techniques, and re-using materials rather than putting them into the waste stream. Waste reduction can be achieved through decreased product packaging, improved packaging design that minimizes waste or increases biodegradability, or increased recycling and purchasing of recycled products. Reducing or eliminating waste at the source can decrease the amount of marine debris accidentally or deliberately entering the ocean. Even if better management cannot occur at the source, appropriate handling and disposal of waste can prevent it from becoming marine debris.

Pollution prevention and improved waste management can occur through regulatory controls and best management practices.

Visit the links below to find out more about Marine Debris Prevention, Control, and Reduction.

Solid Waste


Vessel Waste





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