IMO Tackles Plastic Pollution: New Measures to Reduce Plastic Waste at Sea


Plastic pollution in our oceans poses a devastating threat to marine life, ecosystems, and the wider maritime environment. In response to this pressing issue, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) has recently adopted a comprehensive strategy to tackle plastic pollution at sea. This includes a range of measures aimed at reducing plastic waste generation, increasing collection and recycling, and promoting sustainable practices across the maritime industry.

New Measures:

The IMO’s measures include:

  • Banning of Single-Use Plastics: Production and use of specific single-use plastics like straws, cutlery, plates, and packaging will be phased out on ships.
  • Strengthening Existing Regulations: Existing regulations on garbage management on board ships will be strengthened, including the requirement for ships to have adequate waste segregation and disposal systems.
  • Port Reception Facilities: Creation of a global network of port reception facilities to allow ships to safely dispose of solid waste, including plastics.
  • Incentivizing Recycling: Encouraging the development and use of recycling technologies for maritime plastic waste.
  • Research and Development: Funding research into biodegradable and environmentally friendly alternatives to plastic in marine applications.

Collaboration and Implementation:

The IMO’s new measures rely heavily on collaboration between member states, industry stakeholders, and other organizations. Key aspects of implementation include:

  • Technical Assistance: Providing technical assistance to developing countries to implement the measures.
  • Industry Consultation: Engaging with the maritime industry to develop practical and effective solutions.
  • Public Awareness: Raising public awareness of the problem and the need for action.

Benefits of the New Measures:

By implementing these measures, the IMO aims to:

  • Prevent an estimated 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste from entering the oceans over the next decade.
  • Reduce the amount of microplastics in the marine environment by 25% by 2030.
  • Limit the amount of plastic debris on beaches to below the 2010 level by 2030.


The IMO’s new measures represent a significant step towards tackling the devastating impact of plastic pollution on the world’s oceans. By implementing these comprehensive measures, the maritime industry can contribute to protecting marine life, ecosystems, and the overall health of the maritime environment.


1. What is the deadline for the ban on single-use plastics?

The phasing out of specific single-use plastics will be implemented over a period of years, with specific deadlines to be determined by individual member states.

2. How will the IMO ensure the implementation of these measures?

The IMO will work with member states and industry stakeholders to monitor and enforce the new regulations.

3. What are the estimated costs of implementing these measures?

The estimated cost of implementing these measures is between $1.5 billion and $2 billion per year.


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