The Norwegian Society for the Conservation of Nature (NCSN) has says more should be done to combat the problem, reports NRK.
“It is a real shame, and it shows that we have not focused enough on the large problem that is marine littering,” NCSN’s leader Silje Ask Lundberg told the broadcaster.
The exact amount of waste that is washed up in Norway is uncertain, but researchers have estimated 12 million tonnes annually worldwide.
Norwegian authorities have estimated that as much as 35,000 tonnes may be dumped into Norwegian seas, according to NRK’s report.
The Norwegian Maritime Authority is responsible for enforcing rules against dumping refuse in the sea. But the agency did not issue a single fine last year.
“It is quite simply due to the fact that it is difficult to find sufficient evidence in such cases. Firstly, it is difficult to find out which ship or shipping company the waste comes from. Secondly, it is difficult to say when the littering occurred, which is important to find out whether it occurred in Norwegian waters,” Norwegian Maritime Authority senior advisor Kjetil B. Sørensen told NRK.
“We are constantly working towards better partnerships with other authorities, for example the Coastguard, which is closer to the areas where the litter appears,” Sørensen added.
Lundberg said that she believed better prioritisation and methods were required in response to the problem, including closer working relationships with the Coastguard and Coastal Administration; better options for disposing of washed-up refuse and for ships to dispose of their waste in port; and more recycling options.
The environmental organisation leader said to NRK that she hoped politicians would take a closer look at the issue.
“We need more than just visions, we need affirmative action. In the new year parliament will look at a new report on waste, and politicians will have the chance to initiate new measures against this huge plastic and litter problem,” she said.