Towards Osaka Blue Ocean Vision - G20 Implementation Framework for Actions on Marine Plastic Litter


Actions and Progress on Marine Plastic Litter
Last Update : 2020/04/02

Policy framework


  • The renewal of EU Waste directives as a part of the EU Circular Economy Action Plan (2018) and their national implementation by July 2020
  • EU Single-use Plastics Directive (Directive (EU) 2019/904 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on the reduction of the impact of certain plastic products on the environment) and the corresponding national legislation,
  • EU Directive on Port Reception Facilities (Directive (EU) 2019/883 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on port reception facilities for the delivery of waste from ships, amending Directive 2010/65/EU and repealing Directive 2000/59/EC) and the corresponding national legislation,
  • EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (Directive 2008/56/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 establishing a framework for community action in the field of marine environmental policy) and Commission “decision on Good Environmental Status, GES” (Commission Decision (EU) 2017/848 of 17 May 2017 laying down criteria and methodological standards on good environmental status of marine waters and specifications and standardised methods for monitoring and assessment, and repealing Decision 2010/477/EU) and the corresponding national legislation,
  • HELCOM Recommendation 28E/10: Application of the No-Special-Fee System to Ship-Generated Wastes and Marine Litter Caught in Fishing Nets in the Baltic Sea Area,
  • HELCOM Recommendation 22/3: Unified Interpretations to Ensure a Harmonized and Effective Implementation of the Strategy for Port Reception Facilities for Ship-Generated Wastes and Associated Issues.

In addition, ongoing development of EU policy (changes to REACH decree) to limit intentionally added microplastics in products which is foreseen to enter into force in early 2020.


  • Closing the loop – An EU action plan for the Circular Economy, CEAP (14972/15),
  • A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy (5477/18),
  • Regional Sea Convention level work: HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and Marine Litter Action Plan, 
  • Reduce and Refuse, Recycle and Replace – A Plastics Roadmap for Finland (2018),
  • Finnish Marine Strategy, including Monitoring Programme (2014 – 2020), Programme of Measures (2016–2021), and an updated status assessment of the Finnish marine environment (2018) with targets that guide towards good environmental status, GES (2018 – 2024).


  • Targets of the National Plastics Roadmap
  • Environmental targets of the Finnish Marine Strategy (2018 – 2024) concerning marine litter:
  1. Reception of waste is efficient and user-friendly in all ports
  2. The number of cigarette butts on Finnish urban beaches is reduced significantly (by 2024)
  3. Urban waste water treatment facilities remove a very significant portion of microplastics
  4. Quantity of plastics in the marine environment decreases 30 % (by 2024) from the 2015 level

Indicators are addressed to each target.

  • EU level thresholds for good environmental status related to marine litter under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Commission Decision on GES are under development.


Reduce and Refuse, Recycle and Replace – the Plastics Roadmap for Finland points out the first steps towards a new, sustainable plastic economy. The Plastics Roadmap identifies measures used to reduce the harm caused by plastic waste and litter, help consumers deliver plastics to waste management, improve the efficiency of plastics recovery, recycling and product design, creating conditions for investments and innovations in the circular economy, and reducing the dependency on fossil raw ingredients by increasing bio-based and biodegradable solutions.

Measures under the Finnish Marine Strategy:

Programme of Measures: A broad general survey of sources and pathways of marine litter and microplastics and a roadmap towards the targets have been commissioned. The report is due to be published by the end of 2019. Work to update the Programme of Measures for 2022–2027 has been started. The measures to be included in the updated PoM are planned to complement measures in the Plastics Roadmap.

Monitoring Programme: Monitoring of beach litter has been carried out since 2012 in about 15 different locations several times per year. Methods for monitoring of microplastics have been developed during the recent years. A monitoring program covering both macro and microlitter will be installed in 2020.


  • Development of a Plastics Roadmap for Finland with involvement across sectors, including industry and civil society organisations, and with active implementation ongoing.
  • Good collaboration within EU on marine litter, including marine litter monitoring,  and development of the Single-Use Plastics Directive based on the data on most commonly found plastic litter objects on beaches collected due to the marine monitoring obligations of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
  • Good collaboration on the regional sea level within HELCOM on monitoring, development of indicators, as well as on addressing the problem and targeting measures to combat it under the HELCOM Marine Litter Action Plan from 2015.
  • Ongoing beach litter monitoring since 2012 in about 15 different locations in Finland several times per year.
  • Increase in the number of scientists and knowledge related to marine litter has increased significantly in Finland during the recent years and contribute to the management of the problem.
  • A broad general survey of sources and pathways of marine litter and microplastics in Finland and a roadmap towards the targets to be released by the end of 2019 provides a good overview of the sources and pathways and will allow designation of further measures for 2022–2027.

Note: Relevant indicators, data or other numerical information can be included at the discretion of each country, for example: (1) the amount of waste generated, reused, collected, recycled, and properly disposed of; (2) the amount of marine litter cleaned up; (3) the scale of use of innovative technologies and materials including R&D investment; (4) the scale and/or effect of assistance for countries that need technical capacity development including the increased amount of waste properly disposed of. (encouraged to indicate the proportion/elements of plastics and/or microplastics, if available)

Best practices

  • Plastics Roadmap for Finland is a good example of a cross-sectorial programme for restricting loss of plastics to the environment, involving the industry as well as the civil society. The Finnish Marine Strategy with the Programme of Measures targeting also marine litter and microplastics is a good example of a programme with specific targets and focused measures for the marine environment and complementing the Plastics Roadmap, as well as coordination with other countries activities under the Regional Sea organization.
  • Broad activities on data and knowledge gathering to form a firm basis for decisions. In our case that encompasses scientific research, monitoring method development and monitoring of both macro litter and microplastics, as well as producing an assessment of most important sources and pathways of plastic litter to the sea.
  • Adaptation of activities as information basis is strengthened, i.e. “learning by doing”.

Contact details

Marine environment policies:
Ms. Maria Laamanen
Senior Ministerial Adviser (Ministry of the Environment) and Professor of Practice (Åbo Akademi University)

Ms. Merja Saarilehto (Ministry of the Environment)
Plastics Roadmap for Finland:Programme Director:

Overall coordination of G20 cooperation at the Ministry of the Environment:
Ms. Taru Savolainen

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