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Economic Instruments and Marine Litter Control

Economic Instruments and Marine Litter Control

Economic instruments which address land-based sources of litter offer the greatest potential to help reduce marine litter.

Marine litter is a growing global problem, posing significant risks to the health of marine ecosystems and human wellbeing. It leads to a wide spectrum of consequences, impacting the economy (e.g. beach clean-up), affecting the safety and health of humans (e.g. through global food systems) and diminishing the cultural wellbeing of communities that live around or depend on the oceans. Within the EU, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) obliges Member States to protect and ensure the health of marine ecosystems, including that marine litter does not cause harm to the marine and coastal environment.

Economic instruments and marine litter control, published in Ocean and Coastal Management, provides a comprehensive up-to-date review of the literature on the economic instruments that can reduce marine litter. The paper assesses their cost of implementation, level of effectiveness as well as indirect environmental and socioeconomic effects (externalities) that may arise as a result of their implementation. Since the vast majority of marine litter comes from land-based sources and consists of plastic, economic instruments that target relevant sources of land-based litter more broadly stand to make the greatest contribution to marine litter reduction. The choice of an appropriate intervention is case specific, largely depending on the tackled source of pollution, the country's institutional characteristics and infrastructure, consumer preferences and habitual behaviour, and the economy's overall sectoral composition.

The article "Economic instruments and marine litter control" can be downloaded from the publisher’s website for $35.95.


Boteler, Benjamin; Dr. Frans Oosterhuis and Dr. Elissaios Papyrakis 2014: "Economic Instruments and Marine Litter Control". Ocean & Coastal Management, Vol. 102, No. Part A, 47-54.

Published In
Journal: Ocean and Coastal Management , Vol.102 | No.Part A
8 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1 Introduction
1.1 The extent of the problem
2 Economic instruments and marine litter: a theoretical framework
2.1 Disincentives
2.2 Incentives
3 Economic instruments and marine litter: evidence
3.1 Disincentives
3.1.1 Penalties
3.1.2 Taxes/charges on products
3.1.3 Other taxes/charges
3.1.4 Liability
3.2 Incentives
3.2.1 Deposit-refund schemes
3.2.2 Subsidies and fiscal incentives
3.2.3 Direct payments/awards
3.2.4 Price differentiation
3.2.5 Preferential treatment and public procurement
4 Conclusion

Economic instruments, marine litter, marine policy, Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), Global, Literature review