This Convention places restrictions on the disposal of garbage, based on garbage type and distance from land, and completely prohibits the disposal of plastics at sea. Yet despite these and other prohibitions, 20 years later, there are still large quantities of debris, including plastics, fouling beaches and oceans.
In 2006, Congress enacted the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act. Its stated purposes are to identify, determine sources of, assess, reduce, and prevent marine debris and its impacts; revive interagency coordination efforts through an Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee (IMDCC); and establish a federal clearinghouse for marine debris information. Within this Act, Congress requested that the National Research Council (NRC) undertake a study to assess the effectiveness of international and national measures to prevent and reduce marine debris and its impacts (see Box S.1 for the full statement of task).
Given its charge, the committee that wrote this report focused its efforts on the debris discharged at sea from a variety of maritime activities
Statement of Task
An ad hoc committee will be formed to examine the effectiveness of international and national measures to prevent and reduce marine debris and its impact. The committee will prepare a report that includes