Singapore launches marine litter strategy


SINGAPORE (CNA) – Singapore yesterday launched a National Action Strategy aimed at galvanizing a “nationwide” effort to tackle the growing global challenge of marine litter.

“Marine litter is a growing global challenge that requires collective and global action.

“It can come from many sources and is a cross-border problem as litter is moved across oceans by prevailing winds and tides,” the Department for Sustainable Development and Environment (MSE) said.

The National Action Strategy on Marine Litter (NASML) outlines six strategic areas tailored to Singapore’s local context and demonstrates Singapore’s commitment to tackling marine litter nationally and internationally, MSE added.

These areas of intervention include the reduction of terrestrial and marine sources of waste, the circular economy approach as well as research and development.

NASML will also seek to maintain and strengthen stakeholder awareness and engagement, alongside international engagement and collaboration.

The action strategy was announced by Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, Desmond Tan, during a clean-up at Tanah Merah beach yesterday.

The cleanup was organized by social enterprises Stridy and Seastainable, in conjunction with World Environment Day.

According to data from the National Environment Agency (NEA), around 4,009 tonnes of shipwrecks were collected from 10 beaches and coastal areas in Singapore in 2021.

This represents an increase from 3,490 tonnes collected in 2020 and 3,640 tonnes in 2019.

Flotsam is defined as any reasonably sized floating object, including but not limited to tree trunks, plastic bottles, leaves, carcasses, drums, floating pontoons and dead fish, a declared MSE.

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