Plastics make up 85% of beach litter; single use items represent 61% and fishing related items 20% of these plastic items. The most found single-use plastics items in beach litter are cigarette butts, drinks bottles and their caps/lids, cotton bud sticks, sanitary towels, bags, crisps packets and sweets wrappers, straws and stirrers, balloons and balloon sticks, food containers, cups and cup lids, and cutlery. Another issue of concern is plastic waste from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors, in particular from fishing gear that is lost by accident or discarded when it is no longer fit for use.
The Commission's Plastic Strategy in early 2018 will address possible approaches to address some single-use plastic items and marine litter. Follow-up proposals by the Commission will be considered in the near future on the basis of available data and analysis. To contribute to developing this knowledge base, the Commission has launched a public consultation on reducing marine litter. It will remain open until 12.02.2018.