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Marine DeFRAG - Evaluation and literature review on the marine litter funding programme

Marine litter is one of the world’s greatest environmental challenges. 80% of the world’s marine plastic waste enters the ocean via rivers and coasts. The remaining 20% comes from marine sources such as fishing nets, ropes, and fleets. Studies including high-resolution maps and consideration of factors such as climate, soil characteristics, land use and distance from the ocean indicate that 1,600 of the largest emitting rivers account for 80% of the plastic discharges to the oceans. High-income countries produce more plastic waste per capita. Still, the largest share of plastic entering the ocean comes from rivers in countries in low- to middle-income countries, as these tend to have a lack of or inadequate plastic waste management. It is estimated that 81% of marine plastic litter comes from Asian rivers. As the number of waterways threatened by plastic is very high and continuously growing, a global effort is needed to improve waste management and plastic waste collection at the source. 

The marine litter prevention programme “Marine Debris Framework – Regional hubs around the globe (Marine DeFRAG) implemented by the Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV), supports projects that actively contribute to preventing the discharge of waste into the oceans. Yunus Environment Hub is conducting an extensive integrative literature review and evaluation of the grant guideline of this programme. The project aims to explore the scientific literature on selected hypotheses and questions regarding the impact chains of the programme and subsequently make concrete recommendations for action for optimising the programme to achieve its objectives. In addition, the analysis results can be used as advice for the BMUV in collaborating with other programmes.