© 2015

Marine Anthropogenic Litter

  • Melanie Bergmann
  • Lars Gutow
  • Michael Klages


  • Summarises the current state of knowledge on all aspects of marine anthropogenic litter

  • Offers an international perspective

  • Special section summarising the historical development of micro plastics and research and recent findings in this field

Open Access

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Peter G. Ryan
    Pages 1-25 Open Access
  3. Abiotic Aspects of Marine Litter Pollution

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 27-27
    2. François Galgani, Georg Hanke, Thomas Maes
      Pages 29-56 Open Access
    3. Anthony L. Andrady
      Pages 57-72 Open Access
  4. Biological Implications of Marine Litter

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Susanne Kühn, Elisa L. Bravo Rebolledo, Jan A. van Franeker
      Pages 75-116 Open Access
    3. Tim Kiessling, Lars Gutow, Martin Thiel
      Pages 141-181 Open Access
  5. Microplastics

  6. Socio-economic Implications of Marine Anthropogenic Litter

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 341-341
    2. Tamara S. Galloway
      Pages 343-366 Open Access
    3. Stephanie Newman, Emma Watkins, Andrew Farmer, Patrick ten Brink, Jean-Pierre Schweitzer
      Pages 367-394 Open Access
    4. Chung-Ling Chen
      Pages 395-428 Open Access

About this book


This book describes how man-made litter, primarily plastic, has spread into the remotest parts of the oceans and covers all aspects of this pollution problem from the impacts on wildlife and human health to socio-economic and political issues. Marine litter is a prime threat to marine wildlife, habitats and food webs worldwide.

The book illustrates how advanced technologies from deep-sea research, microbiology and mathematic modelling as well as classic beach litter counts by volunteers contributed to the broad awareness of marine litter as a problem of global significance. The authors summarise more than five decades of marine litter research, which receives growing attention after the recent discovery of great oceanic garbage patches and the ubiquity of microscopic plastic particles in marine organisms and habitats.

In 16 chapters, authors from all over the world have created a universal view on the diverse field of marine litter pollution, the biological  impacts, dedicated research activities,  and the various national and international legislative efforts to combat this environmental problem.  They recommend future research directions necessary for a comprehensive understanding of this environmental issue and the development of efficient management strategies. This book addresses scientists, and it provides a solid knowledge base for policy makers, NGOs, and  the broader public.


Human health Litter distribution Marine Litter Marine debris Microplastic Nanoplastic Plastic degradation Plastic pollution Toxicity Waste management

Editors and affiliations

  • Melanie Bergmann
    • 1
  • Lars Gutow
    • 2
  • Michael Klages
    • 3
  1. 1.HGF-MPG Group for Deep-Sea Ecology and TechnologyAlfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und MeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany
  2. 2.Biosciences | Functional EcologyAlfred-Wegener-Institut Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- undMeeresforschungBremerhavenGermany
  3. 3.Sven Lovén Centre for Marine Sciences University of GothenburgFiskebäckskilSweden

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Marine Anthropogenic Litter
  • Editors Melanie Bergmann
    Lars Gutow
    Michael Klages
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) and if applicable the Author(s) 2015
  • License CC BY-NC
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Biomedical and Life Sciences Biomedical and Life Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-16509-7
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-37653-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-16510-3
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XVIII, 447
  • Number of Illustrations 33 b/w illustrations, 35 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Freshwater & Marine Ecology
  • Buy this book on publisher's site