Skip to main content
  • Book
  • Open Access
  • © 2023

The African Marine Litter Outlook

  • Includes baseline information on production, consumption, and presence of plastic

  • Reviews exposure and impacts of marine litter and microplastics

  • Identifies national and regional gaps and issues

  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xxii
  2. Introduction to Marine Litter in Africa

    • Fiona Preston-Whyte, Thomas Maes
    Pages 1-34Open Access
  3. Marine Litter Sources and Distribution Pathways

    • Takunda Yeukai Chitaka, Percy Chuks Onianwa, Holly Astrid Nel
    Pages 35-89Open Access
  4. Impacts and Threats of Marine Litter in African Seas

    • Sumaiya Arabi, Yashvin Neehaul, Conrad Sparks
    Pages 91-136Open Access
  5. Legal and Policy Frameworks to Address Marine Litter Through Improved Livelihoods

    • Peter Manyara, Karen Raubenheimer, Zaynab Sadan
    Pages 137-197Open Access
  6. The Way Forward, Building Up from On-The-Ground Innovation

    • Thomas Maes, Fiona Preston-Whyte
    Pages 199-224Open Access

About this book

This open access book provides a cross-sectoral, multi-scale assessment of marine litter in Africa with a focus on plastics. From distribution, to impacts on environmental and human health, this book looks at what is known scientifically. It includes a policy analysis of the instruments that currently exist, and what is needed to help Africa tackle marine litter—including local and transboundary sources. Across 5 chapters, experts from Africa and beyond have put together a summary of the scientific knowledge currently known about marine litter in Africa.

The context of the African continent and future projections form a backdrop on which the scientific knowledge is built. This scientific knowledge incorporates quantities, distributions, and pathways of litter into the marine environment, highlighting where the impacts of marine litter are most felt in Africa. These impacts have widespread effects, with ecological, social, economic, and human health repercussions. While containing detailed scientific information, this book provides a sound knowledge base for policymakers, NGOs and the broader public.


  • Africa
  • Plastic and microplastic marine pollution
  • Marine debris in Africa
  • Impacts of marine litter
  • Blue economy in Africa
  • Marine litter sources
  • Natural environment, people and economies
  • Open Access

Editors and Affiliations

  • Grid-Arendal, Arendal, Norway

    Thomas Maes

  • GRID-Arendal, Arendal, Norway

    Fiona Preston-Whyte

About the editors

Thomas is an excellent communicator in different languages. He has a broad educational background, including pre-MBA, civil engineering, terrestrial & marine biology, and a PhD in Science.

He started his international career as an environmental manager on large development projects for the dredging company Jan De Nul (JDN), e.g. the Palm Islands, Ras Laffan Gas Terminal, Sfax Taparura Remediation, Port Hedland Harbour.

Thomas moved on to the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) in the UK, becoming a Principal Scientist leading an extensive portfolio of projects and a team of marine experts. He coordinated several UK national and international marine monitoring programmes for EU Directives and other regional drivers. Thomas also provided advice to the UK Government and some of its most senior members on issues related to human pressures, such as contaminants, waste and other pollutants. He directly supported UK ministers and royals at international meetings, audits and visits.

In 2020, Thomas joined GRID-Arendal, a collaborating centre of UNEP with highly qualified staff that specialises in complex environmental issues. To tackle the challenge of pollution and waste, Thomas supports global policy development through the UN frameworks, including UNEA and the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. Thomas also assists developing countries with capacity building and research on the impact of waste and marine litter, their sources and pathways. He works closely with the Regional Seas Conventions and other UN agencies to find regional and global solutions to tackle pollution issues.

Thomas operates between science and policy and develops products to inform policy-makers. He regularly gives keynote speeches and presentations about pollution at international fora.

Thomas has extensive knowledge of relevant environmental issues, institutes and organisations and maintains an impressive global network. He attends, chairs and facilitates several committees, political debates, working groups and national/international expert meetings.

Thomas specialises in marine litter, microplastics, POPs, nutrients, hazardous substances, ecotoxicology, circular economy, waste, waste management, waste trade, and wastewater. He has a growing list of peer-reviewed publications, books and reports.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

Softcover Book USD 49.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)