Legal Approaches to Reduce Plastic Marine Pollution: Challenges and Global Governance


  • Fozia Sarwar Lecturer, Govt. Degree College for Women, Dunyapur
  • Sajid Ali School of Economics, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan.
  • Shaukat Hussain Bhatti Assistant Professor, Department of Law, Times Institute, Multan
  • Saif ur Rehman PhD Scholar, School of Economics, Finance and Banking, Universiti Utara, Malaysia



Plastic marine pollution, Global Governance, Legal approaches, International conventions


Plastic wastes have recently emerged as one of the alarming threats to the marine environment. The issue of contamination of marine plastic is not new; it has been recognized for over half a century. The problem can no longer be ignored, thanks to growing media attention and incidents such as the finding of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. This issue is addressed by a number of legal approaches. Plastic litter reduction standards were adopted by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) 30 years ago. Annexes to the convention of MARPOL are designed to aid in the fight against plastic pollution. Other mechanisms of maritime law can be used to combat this issue as well. The fundamental cause of the issue, and thus the solution is located on land. The directives of the European Union can serve as useful models for decreasing marine pollution. In May 2018, the new European Union restrictions are proposed to target the ten most commonly detected single-use plastic products in coastal areas of Europe, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear. These multinational conventions serve as a source of inspiration for the governments of other countries of the world. The acceptance and application of these legal approaches and conventions could change the game in the fight against marine pollution.