General Assembly Resolution # 309
A resolution to increase the quality of the world's environment, at the expense of industry.
Defines marine debris as being any material unable of rapid degradation having been intentionally or unintentionally disposed of or discarded in any marine environment;
States that intentional debris discharge is the result of deplorable environmental apathy;
States that unintentional debris abandonment is the result of preventable negligence;
Recognizes the threat that marine debris poses to aquatic species, primarily through reduced body weight, clogging of gizzards (in seabirds), increased risk of disease, starvation by digestive tract blockage, gut ulceration, perforation by sharp debris, and death;
Recognizes the threat that marine debris poses to the marine ecosystem, through the elimination of key species, the interference with natural processes, and the general disturbance of the health of the seas;
Recognizes the threat of marine debris on human safety and health through the transportation of bio-hazards, or the ingestion, entrapment, or physical injury caused by dangerous substances;
Notes the longevity of plastic, microplastics, polystyrene, rubber, sanitary and sewage-related materials, metal, cigarette filters, glass, ceramics, wood, cloth, cardboard, and fishing gear or equipment;
Notes that marine debris can travel many thousands of miles and spread to every local region, regardless of any amount of environmental protection that that local area may employ;
Suggests that marine debris is a global issue that requires a coordinated global effort;
Hereby requires that member nations implement the following policies for the betterment of the health of the marine ecosystems:
Member nations must require of all private and public industries minimal waste disposal procedures, so as to ensure that debris does not intentionally or unintentionally enter the marine ecosystem.
Member nations must enact minimal legislation barring citizens from littering or otherwise leaving debris in coastal areas--primarily beaches.
Member nations must enact legislation to deter the loss of fishing nets, lines, and other hazardous fishing-related equipment.
Member nations must maintain basic sewage and waste-water management facilities which do not allow for discharge of untreated waste into oceans or waterways.
Member nations must enforce a ban on all intentional discharges of debris from ships, save for the discharge of properly treated sewage.
Member nations must take appropriate steps to avoid the escape of debris and waste from coastal landfills.
Hereby forms the International Marine Debris Management Commission (IMDMC), and tasks it with the following duties:
Analysis of the current state of the marine environment, and quantification of the current status of the oceans, specifically relating to marine debris.
Provide available consultation to member nations for implementation of required policies.
Establish basic outreach programs to inform the global public of the dangers of marine debris.
Encourage member nations to collaborate and coordinate efforts in the prevention of intentionally and unintentionally discharged marine debris.
Implement comprehensive and continually adaptive action plans to protect the marine environment from marine debris.