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In theUK, theEnvironmental ProtectionAct (EPA) of 1990 stated that it is an offense to throw down, drop, or otherwise deposit, and then to leave, litter. It enables bans and fines for littering any public places . The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (CNEA) of 2005 amends the EPA, for example, that a principal litter authority is empowered to specify the amount of a fixedpenalty to be applied for a litteringoffense . InEngland, theCodeofPractice onLitter andRefusepublishedby theDepart- mentforEnvironment,FoodandRuralAffairs in2006“applies toallplaces thatare open to the air, includingprivate landand landcoveredbywater. [. . .]There is no restriction on the type of litter for which this may be used, but it is intended primarily to help deal with food and drink packaging and other litter caused by eating ‘on-the-go’” [41, p. 42f]. In this code, litter is defined as “materials, often associatedwithsmoking,eatinganddrinking, thatare improperlydiscardedandleft bymembers of the public; or are spilt during business operations aswell aswaste managementoperations”[41,p.11]. Inaddition,a lawhasbeenpassedthatrequires large shops to charge 5 pence for all single-use plastic carrier bags starting on 5October2015.Thechargewas introduced trying to influenceconsumerbehavior. In the first 6months since introducing the charge, the plastic bag usage drops to approximately 85% . Wales (started charging in 2011), Northern Ireland (started charging in 2013), andScotland (started charging in 2014) have also seen a significant drop inplastic bagusage. In Scotland, The Litter (Fixed Penalties) (Scotland) Order 2013 , entering into force in 2014, prescribes fixed penalties for discharging any liability to conviction for thewaste (including littering and flytipping) and littering offenses with reference to theEPA.TheScottishLitterStrategy ,published in2014and based on research and extensive consultation, has threemain goals to reduce and ultimatelyprevent litterandflytippingand toencouragepersonal responsibilityand behavior change: “1. Information - improving communications, engagement and educationaround the issue. 2. Infrastructure - improving the facilities and services provided to reduce litter andpromote recycling.3.Enforcement - strengthening the deterrent effect of legislation and improving enforcement processes” (retrieved 13.11.2016 from http://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/litter-flytipping/national- strategy). As already mentioned in the section on regional regulation instruments, the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive  calls on the member states to implement national deposit and return systems, in which disposed plastics are collected and recycled to allow their reuse as newpackaging.This should contrib- ute, amongothers, to a reductionofplastic inputs into freshwater environments. In Denmark, for instance,DanskRetursystemA/Sis suchaprivatelyownednonprofit organization that is regulated by a statutory order (see https://www.dansk- retursystem.dk/). Another example for such a deposit and return system is the Irish company Repak (see https://www.repak.ie/). Deposit and return systems incentivize to correctly dispose (plastic) litter and thus provide the advantage to keepplastics in the economic circle. FreshwaterMicroplastics:Challenges forRegulation andManagement 253
Freshwater Microplastics Emerging Environmental Contaminants?