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For shipping, the UK Chamber of Shipping identifies the key threat posed by marine litter lies in navigational safety. Plastics can easily become entangled in a vessel’s vital technical equipment (e.g. propellers, rudders etc.) which can lead to reduced power and manoeuvrability – even engine failure and/or loss of steering. Disruption to vessels operations or schedules and, crucially, damage to a vessels technical equipment have significant financial implications for its owners, its insurers and its customers.
Industry is taking action to tackle plastic waste, such as through the UK Plastics Pact, a collaboration between businesses from across the entire plastics value chain, supported by the government and coordinated by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP). Pact members have identified eight problematic plastic items for elimination and are investigating further items.
The Government's Extended Producer Responsibility scheme will mean companies will be expected to cover the full cost of recycling and disposing of their packaging. Producers of commonly littered packaging will be made more responsible for their littered packaging, with fees paid to cover the cost of cleaning up and for litter prevention activities.
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