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"Marine Litter Watch" Initiative

Publication of data collected within European Environment Agency's initiative in 8 June 2018

Marine Litter Watch is a European Environment Agency (EEA) initiative that aims to combat the plastic litter problem. It uses citizen science — scientific research conducted, at least partly, by members of the public — and mobile-phone technology to help individuals and communities come together to clean up Europe’s beaches. Volunteers use the Marine Litter Watch app to form communities that collect litter from beaches and send data on the items found to the EEA.

The initiative — set-up in 2014 and involving non-governmental organisations and research institutions — is the only pan-European platform that members of the public can use to co-ordinate clean ups and record beach litter. The focus on citizens is designed to complement the collection of official marine litter data by national authorities and fill data gaps. As well as developing and hosting the app, the EEA is responsible for quality assurance of the data.