Step 1: Don’t re-invent the wheel
While the problem of marine litter may seem insurmountable, you don’t have to start from scratch when thinking of ways to deal with it. Many innovative and successful projects have gone before you, use their insights to inform your strategy.
Step 2: Focus on sustained behaviour change, not marine litter
Looking at removal activites alone will not ultimately address the problem. We need to think strategically and identify avenues for effecting long-term behaviour change. Identify your target audience and tailor your message to that audience. Once you have the right message, you need a strategy to ensure long-term behaviour change. Reminders and follow-up activities are essential to keep your audience on board.
Step 3: Measure progress. Let your collaborators know that they are making a difference
Create goals which are which are measurable and well-defined and be sure to monitor progress towards them. Feeding this information back to your collaborators is key. Psychology studies show that positive reinforcement is much more effective driver of behaviour change than any other method.
Step 4: Use these handy guides
The MARLISCO project (to which KIMO contributed) has developed a set of resources which any project can use to tackle marine litter. The best practice guide has something for every one and covers the following areas:
- Practices targeting plastics
- Economic and market based instruments
- Policies/regulations to minimise marine litter
- Waste from rivers
- Floating litter
- Seabed litter
- Waste from ships
- Practices targeting cigarette butts
- Beach clean-ups
- Working with schools
- Integrated approaches to the marine litter problem
- Raising awarenes
- Promoting social responsibility
- ‘Other’ types of practices
If your project is at the stage of formulating your communications strategy and you want to be sure to to effect long-term behaviour change, we have just the thing. Using information gained from psychological research on communication, along with insights gained throughout the MARLISCO project, a guide has been produced which can help you understand how to communicate more effectively with stakeholders and influence behavioural change.
Download the aforementioned guides below: