What is Marine Litter?
NOAA Definition: “any man-made object discarded, disposed of, or
abandoned that enters the coastal or marine environment”
Marine Litter is usually man-made
From land and sea
Marine Litter can be very dangerous, threatening our oceans
and coasts, endangering marine animals and seabirds,
affecting navigation and even our own health and safety. It
also takes away from the beauty of our natural environment.
What does it look
Sources of Marine Litter in Nigeria
Land based sources (LBS): These are associated with activities that occur on
land with the resulting litter being improperly discarded along roads and waterways,
Roads and waterways, factories, manufacturers, fishermen, public littering on
beaches, street vendors in coastal cities or urban areas, waste processing
factories, sewage treatment plants and legal and illegal dumplings
Ocean or water way sources (OBS): These originate from the activities done
on the ocean and waterways that are deposited directly in the water. Fishing
vessels, water sports, cruise and cargo ships, offshore fossil fuel platforms and
transportation, system or mechanical failure, dumping by fishermen (e.g.: nets,
fishing-lines & ropes, fishing hooks, baits containers, forgotten or discarded fish,
lobster and crab traps, food and beverage containers, cleaning chemical
containers, clothing and pieces of boats (capsized and crashed),waste from
pleasure boats and barges and cruise boats; exploration and exploitation.
INDICATORS OF MARINE LITTER SOURCES
SHORELINE & RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES bags(plastics and paper),ballons,beverage bottles(2l or less),-
glass,cans,lids,clothings,shoes,eating utensils,cups and
plats,food wrappers and containers,strwas,toys,weavon,
OCEAN &WATERWAYS ACTIVITIES Bait containers and packages,bleach and cleaner bottles,buoys
or floats,traps,crates,fishing line,fishing lures or sticks,fishing
nets,light bulbs or tubes, oil lube bottles,pallets,plastic sheeting
SMOKING-RELATED ACTIVITIES Cigarettes or cigarette filters,lighters,cigar tips,tobacco packaging
DUMPING ACTIVITIES Appliances,batteries,building materials,cars or carparts,55-gallon
MEDICAL OR PERONAL HYGIENE ACTIVIITES Condons,diapers,syringes,tamptons or tamon applicators
WHY UNEP-GPA CALL TO ACTION
In response to THE GLOBAL CHALLENGES POSED BY MARINE
LITTER,UNEP-GPA embarked in 2003 on the development of a
Global initiative on marine litter e.g.: culturally-based public
education programmes for environmental stewardship and
implementation of policies supported by national and local legislation
and governmental and private sector compliance and enforcement
can lead to the reduction and abatement of marine litter.
Activities to be undertaken by NIMASA
NIMASA will carry out a survey of marine litter in selected coastline, waterways and beaches in Nigeria to
identify marine litter “hot-spots” and classify litter on the basis of source-types;
NIMASA will initiate education and awareness campaign targeting the geographical source-area of marine litter
in the selected hot-spots including stakeholders, local communities and the media;
NIMASA will initiate action plan for coastal and beach clean-up campaigns in identified hot-spots;
NIMASA will implement litter/solid waste management program (e.g. waste collection, wastes recycling, waste-
to-wealth, installation trash traps, etc.) in specific marine litter hot-spots, including beaches;
NIMASA will use the information generated in the previously mentioned activities to develop a national action
plan and campaign concept for marine litter.
NIMASA will share information relevant to this project on the on-line platform on marine litter developed by
UNEP which enables the global marine litter community to share information, lessons learned, and tools. It also
facilitates the promotion and implementation of the Global Partnership on Marine Litter, engaging
governments, regional organizations, other UN agencies, and importantly the private sector.
NIMASA will provide recommendations for the strengthening of the GPML and outline its future involvement to
further strengthen outreach to relevant target groups.
To achieve the content of the agreement
NIMASA embarked on inter-
departmental meetings to engage
relevant departments/officers, pre-
survey/ pre field work briefing, grouping
of officers into teams to carry out
feasibility evaluation and survey
including identification of Marine Litter
hotspots, characterization and
determination of geographical sources
of the litter. The litter survey was carried
out in 3 different axis of the Lagos
Lagoon, which is a major part of the
Atlantic Ocean portion of Nigeria.
Sample size was one because there was no previous reference except for beach clean-up by
CBO’s and NGO’s that were not properly documented. In this case a sampling unit was created
by measuring the natural unit as the entire beach from the water edge to the seaward limit of
According to Dixon and Dixon 1985, factors like substrate type, beach slope, prevailing winds,
ease of access and recreational use of the sea area contribute to the accumulation of marine
Usually, on arrival by the NIMASA, UNEP-GPA team to any hotspots/awareness campaign site
the event would be opened with an introduction by the team leader. The team leader would also
address the community and give a brief on the NIMASA, UNEP-GPA partnership objective.
The team leader will also educate the community on the importance of proper waste
disposal and their role as a coastal community, to work towards litter free oceans.
Then there will be a tour around the vicinity and an opportunity was given to some
members of the community to express themselves on existing litter management
approach if any.
In other to facilitate proper waste management on the beach and support their efforts
the community were presented with branded NIMASA, UNEP-GPA items as an
incentive towards proper waste disposal namely:
Generally, the opportunity of the survey
was used to carry out awareness
campaign at every location that human
population exist. However, defined
awareness campaign was carried out in
three (3) locations namely Victoria
Island, Ikorodu and Badagary as shown
in the map. At each location, various
waste management materials branded
with UNEP/GPA-NIMASA partnership
on marine litter were given to the
communities together with branded
shirts as earlier shown in the previous
slide. The outcome of the survey and
the awareness campaign formed a
major presentation and discussion
during the stakeholders’, shippers’ and,
oil and gas operators’ meeting.
Observations and Results –Selected Hotspots
Victoria Island Axis
ASSESSMENT OF TYPE
Polythene bags, Fish/ sea
food wastes e.g. shells,
Cans, Plastic bottles,
Plastic containers (kegs),
Raffia Baskets, Nylons
from biscuits wrappers
Households, Mangrove Fishing, Abattoir,
Ori Pontu –
Plastic and glass bottles,
Domestic waste, Dried
vegetation, Cans, Paper
cartons, Styrofoam packs,
Raffia baskets Sacks,
(bus park, jetty)
Eleko Beach Domestic
Plastic cups and bottles,
Glass bottles, Cans,
Styrofoam packs, Coconut
shells, Foil plates,
Tetrapak (five alive etc.),
Biscuit wrappers, Broken
plastic chairs, Broken
bags, Empty cigarette
Households, Mangrove Recreation
The general observed trend is the
dominance of plastics and associated
materials at each axis on the chat.
However the Victoria, Ikorodu and
Badagry axis, plastics were unusually
observed to be more abundant
significantly and this could be possibly
attributed to plastic industries within
the area and commercial boating
activities. And the percentage of
plastic to glass is almost the same and
this was attributed to recreational and
vocational activities within the area
and commercial picking of plastics.
Discussions and Conclusions
The survey so far carried out with respect to addressing the project on ‘sustainable
management of marine litter in Nigeria beaches and waterways’ has yielded some
tangible results that can help in launching the project in a positive direction. The
proportion of marine litter materials as presented in this report will invariably contribute
towards the technical aspects of the Action Plan to be developed.
Discussions: The survey results supports the trends of plastics being the most
dominant types of waste in the shorelines of the survey area as shown in the charts.
Comparative evaluation of results showed that 50% of all litter found on the shoreline
within and across the three (3) different community (axis) were plastics (plastics and
Conclusions : There is need to take urgent action in addressing marine litter issue
in Nigeria through more awareness campaigns and education, putting waste
management structure in place for coastal dwellers and structured action plan
stipulating task and responsibilities for individuals and organizations.
There is strong concern on public and community health in view of the magnitude
of waste type observed at almost all of the hotspots and the quality of human
life seen at the community depend on same coastal water, as receptacle of waste
and water supply including sea foods.
Clean up of identified Hot-spots in Lagos and extension of survey and
campaign to other littoral states
Stronger and classified awareness creation for different groups incorporating
factors as cultural, level of education, vocation and so on by engaging
MDAs, CBOs and NGOs.
Full engagement of states municipal waste management bodies to ensure
proper management of waste upland, together with the agencies
responsible for management of wastes from ships.
Development of strong ties with industries operating along the coast to view
proper litter management as a sure way of demonstrating corporate social
Inclusion of litter management in the civic syllabus of educational institutions
of all tiers, especially those in the littoral communities. (more are stated in
the action plan)
The stakeholders’ meeting was attended by the representatives of
government agencies (States and Federal) and Nongovernmental
Organizations. The meeting succeeded in creating awareness on the project
and stakeholders were appreciative of the outcome of the meeting and are
ready to be engaged as appropriate.
Further, it was generally agreed that Nigeria should come up with a National
Policy on solid waste management that will have marine litter management
as a subset. Detailed information on this is as captured in the minutes of
meeting and communiqué. More publicity of the whole project is on-going in
the national media by the public relations unit of the Agency.
Proposed National Nigerian Action Plan
The Nigeria National Action Plan (NNAP) for Marine Litter
Management will serve as a framework for collaborative
efforts between Government Agencies, Industry
Stakeholders and coastal communities to achieve the
following primary goals:
Reduced quantity and effect of marine litter from land-
based activities in the Nigeria Marine Environment
Reduced quantity and effect of marine litter from sea-
based activities in the Nigeria Marine Environment
Reduced quantity and effects of current build-up of
marine litter along the shore lines and at sea.
The NNAP goals will determine the necessary objectives,
strategies actions and plans to tackle the marine litter issue
and achieve sustainable marine litter management.
Campaign Concept Module
Development of a marine litter campaign concept is one of the expected outcomes of
UNEP/NIMASA PROJECT on marine litter in Nigeria. In the course of the marine litter
survey, awareness campaign and stakeholders meeting carried out as components of this
project, the critical success factors and the building blocks for the campaign concept were
By not littering and picking up litter you see, you
may be saving the life of a marine mammal.
Be aware of the packaging on products you
purchase; opt for products with less packaging.
Prevent litter!Prevent litter!
Packaging awareness!Packaging awareness!
Thank you for your attention