Research Repository

Plastic ‘Highways’ to the Sea: The Problem of Litter in English Inland Waterways

Davey, Samantha (2021) 'Plastic ‘Highways’ to the Sea: The Problem of Litter in English Inland Waterways.' Social Sciences, 10 (12). p. 473. ISSN 2076-0760

socsci-10-00473.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (328kB) | Preview


There is a conspicuous lacuna in the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990 because it imposes no legal duty on statutory bodies to clear litter from aquatic environments (rivers, canals and lakes) in England and Wales. This paper identifies a significant gap in the law on aquatic environmental protection by undertaking doctrinal research, including contextual analysis of references to rivers in ‘soft’ law (e.g., policy documents such as the Conservative Government’s Litter Strategy) and ‘hard law’ (e.g., legislation including the EPA 1990); an examination of the problems with existing legal frameworks in this sphere and an exploration of legislative and practical measures which could protect our rivers and other inland waterways from litter. A legislative amendment to the EPA is proposed with discussion of whether imposing a duty on an existing body or a new, specialised body to clear litter from rivers will ameliorate these problems. The intention behind this paper is to initiate an informed debate on how to protect aquatic environments from the harmful effects of litter.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: aquatic litter; marine litter; national litter strategy; rivers; riparian owners; environment; Environmental Protection Act 1990
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2022 15:38
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2022 15:39

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item