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Managing Marine Litter

February 2020

Citation: 50 ELR 10093

Issue: 2

Author: Carl Bruch, Carole Excell, K. Russell LaMotte, and Adena Leibman

Marine litter is human-created waste that has been discharged into the marine environment, including glass, metal, plastics, and other debris. According to data compiled by the United Nations, the equivalent of a garbage truck filled with plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute—more than 8 million metric tons per year. On November 11, 2019, the Environmental Law Institute hosted an expert panel that explored recent U.S. legislation to target marine litter, the economic impacts of marine litter, and examples of successful international marine pollution agreements and regulatory collaborations. This Dialogue presents a transcript of the discussion, which has been edited for style, clarity, and space considerations.

Carl Bruch (moderator) is Director of International Programs and a Senior Attorney at the Environmental Law Institute. Carole Excell is Acting Director of the Environmental Democracy Practice at the World Resources Institute. K. Russell LaMotte is the Managing Principal at Beveridge & Diamond PC. Adena Leibman is currently Senior Oceans Policy Manager at the Environmental Defense Fund, and at the time of this discussion was Natural Resources Counsel and Appropriations Manager in the Office of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.).

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