INTERNATIONAL experts are gathering in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi this week as part of efforts to combat the scourge of marine litter.
The International Maritime Organization is among those participating in the Ad Hoc Open Ended Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics at the UN Environment headquarters.
According to an IMO statement, member governments have been invited to submit “concrete proposals” about developing a plan for the Committee’s next meeting in October.
This group was set up by the United Nations Environment Assembly to examine barriers to, and options for, combatting marine plastic litter and microplastics, especially from land-based sources.
“Discharging plastics and other forms of litter into the sea from ships has actually been banned by an IMO regulation, legally binding on all ships, for some 30 years,” the IMO said in its statement.
“The so-called MARPOL Annex V entered into force internationally in 1988 and, today, more than 150 countries have signed up to it.”
Countries party to another IMO instrument banning dumping at sea (the London Convention/Protocol) earlier this year raised concerns about the disposal of fibreglass reinforced plastic vessels at sea.