BIMCO supports IMO action plan to combat plastic litter


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted a resolution on an action plan which will be completed by 2025 to address marine plastic litter from ships.

The action plan was developed at the 73rd Marine Environmental Protection Committee meeting (MEPC) at the IMO in London held 22-26 October and will fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14 (1).

BIMCO attended the MEPC meetings and had - together with the World Shipping Council - submitted a paper to the session with proposals on how to capture the location of containers lost overboard. The paper was well received according to Aron Sorensen, BIMCO’s Head of Maritime Technology and Regulation, who attended the meeting.

“We have made proposals to help the establishment of a compulsory system to address and report the loss of containers, and the means on board to easily identify the exact number of losses. The proposal will help limit marine plastic litter when containers are lost at sea,” Sorensen said.

Other initiatives in the action plan include making the Garbage Record Book mandatory for ships of 100 GT (Gross Tonnage) and above and reviewing the requirement for port reception facilities to provide for separate garbage collection for plastic waste from ships, including fishing gear.

“The action plan will also include encouragement of all IMO Member States to address the entire process of plastic garbage handling and ensure that landed garbage is managed in a sustainable manner ashore,” Sorensen said.

In connection with the action plan, a study will be conducted on marine plastic litter, including macro and microplastics, from all ships to get a better understanding of the subject. The study will identify the sources which contributes to marine plastic litter, including the contribution from the ships grey water.

The plan consists of 30 actions of which 12 refer to shipping and the rest specifically referring to fishing vessels.


(1) “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”


Mette Kronholm Frænde
in Copenhagen, DK


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