The Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) aimed to achieve Good Environmental Status of the European Union's marine waters by 2020. However, the report ‘Marine messages II - Navigating the course towards clean, healthy and productive seas through implementation of an ecosystem‑based approach’ indicated that Europe's seas are not on track to meet this objective. The European Commission’s report on the first implementation cycle of the MSFD showed that further efforts are needed to tackle predominant pressures including plastic litter. 
Every year, millions of tons of litter end up in the ocean worldwide, leading to environmental, economic, health and aesthetic problems.  Plastics, metals, cardboard and other waste are accumulating on shorelines, the seabed and surface waters.  Marine litter adversely impacts marine ecosystems and biodiversity, including through ingestion of marine litter by species, their entanglement in it and consumption by species of microplastics - as well as the toxic substances released from the degradation of plastics.  It can also cause serious economic damage.  To address marine litter efficiently, it is necessary to implement measures both on land and at sea.
Litter prevention, litter collection and litter recycling are essential to a healthy ocean and to meeting Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Life Below Water. There are many initiatives in this field which aim to turn the tide. Below are some examples.
What can you do? Dive in to this week’s map to visualise seabed litter density, learn about the above-mentioned initiatives and look for other projects tacking marine pollution.