Map of the week – Beach Litter – Cigarettes | Central Portal

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Map of the week – Beach Litter – Cigarettes

Map of the week – Beach Litter – Cigarettes

Every year, millions of tonnes of litter make their way to our beaches, seas and ocean. It is estimated that 80% of this litter comes from land-based sources like beach littering, land-fills and street litter carried to the sea by untreated municipal sewage, rivers and flood water1. It is thus no surprise that the top three litter items found on our beaches are drink bottles and caps, cigarette butts and cotton bud sticks2. The map of the week shows the average number of cigarette related litter items along 100 metre segments of the European beaches.

Smoking is not only detrimental to your health, cigarette butts and other marine litter also causes a major hazard for marine life as animals can get entangled or ingest the trash, exposing them to harmful chemicals. These can also make their way up through the food chain threatening human health on a global scale2. Furthermore, marine litter causes serious economic damage2 with valuable, recyclable resources lost at sea, polluted beaches driving away tourism and fishermen’s catches including more and more litter.

To try and tackle this problem, the European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) requires that member states take actions to ensure that, by 2020, the properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment1. One of the results of this strategy is the ban on single-use plastic products2. You can also be part of the solution, by reducing your use of throwaway items, avoiding littering of the items you do use and recycling them instead. You can also actively help cleaning up the litter on your local beach or join one of the EUBeachCleanUp events. Have a look at the Map of the Week to find a beach where your actions can have the biggest impact.

Access the map

The data in this map were provided by EMODnet Chemistry.






14th EMODnet Steering Committee meeting

This is an online meeting restricted to members of the EMODnet Steering Committee. Members of the EMODnet Technical Working Group (TWG) and the EC Marine Knowledge Expert Group (MKEG) will join for the morning session.
19 Apr 2021

9th EMODnet Technical Working Group meeting

These are online meetings restricted to members of the EMODnet Technical Working Group (TWG).These meetings will take place back to back with the 14th EMODnet Steering Committee meeting taking place on Monday 19 April 2021.
20 Apr 2021 to 21 Apr 2021

3rd International Ocean Governance Forum

The European Commission, in association with the European External Action Service (EEAS), invites ocean stakeholders worldwide to the presentation of the final recommendations for ocean sustainability action by the EU's International Ocean Governance (IOG) Forum.

More information about the event can be found here


20 Apr 2021