Governments at all levels have recognized the importance of the marine debris issue by creating policies, laws, and regulations to address it. While some legislation may still be proposed or in process, this site provides a list of finalized legislative documents related to marine debris.
Included are amendments to the Marine Debris Research, Prevention, and Reduction Act of 2006, otherwise known as the Marine Debris Act.
Adopted in July of 2011, this document contains amendments to Annex V of the protocol of 1978, relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships.
The United States bill amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to ban rinse-off cosmetics that contain intentionally-added plastic microbeads beginning on January 1, 2018, and to ban manufacturing of these cosmetics beginning on July 1, 2017. These bans are delayed by one year for cosmetics that are over-the-counter drugs.
The NOAA Marine Debris Program is authorized by Congress to work on marine debris through the Marine Debris Act, signed into law in 2006 and amended in 2012.
Title I of the Save our Seas Act of 2018 amends the Marine Debris Act of 2012 and reauthorizes the NOAA Marine Debris Program.