Marine and Polar


Following are some of IUCN's key resources related to marine plastics and microplastics.  For more information, visit the GMPP Resources page.


Primary microplastics in the ocean Photo: IUCN


"Primary Microplastics in the Oceans: A Global Evaluation of Sources” provides a global estimate and mapping of the sources and quantities of primary microplastics – plastics that enter the oceans in the form of small particles directly released from household and industrial products. This report concluded that invisible particles washed off synthetic clothing and car tyres are the two main contributors of microplastics from primary sources into our oceans.



Protecting the marine environment from plastic pollution in EU Member States Photo: IUCN



The aim of this report is to provide an overview of national legal instruments in all European Union Member States related to protection of the marine environment from plastic pollution. The report is based on information collected from EU Member States on existing policies directly tackling marine litter at national level.


Marine report on plastics Photo: IUCN




"Plastic debris in the Ocean: The Characterization of Marine Plastics and their Environmental Impacts, Situation Analysis Report” was IUCN’s first situation analysis report on marine plastic pollution. In addition to providing a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge of the effects of plastics on marine environments, organisms and ecosystems, this report attempted to identify policy options to find solutions to this urgent issue.



Marine Plastics Issues Brief Photo: Marine Plastics Issues Brief

The IUCN Issues Brief on marine plastics provide an accessible overview.







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