What Is Ocean Bound Plastic (Obp)?

Ocean Bound Plastic (OBP) is plastic waste defined as “at risk of ending up in the ocean”. OBP is estimated to generate 80% of plastic marine litter. It includes:

  • a small fraction of commercially recyclable plastic waste
  • a lot of non-commercially recyclable plastic waste

Ocean Bound Plastic was indirectly defined by Jenna Jembeck et al. publication in Science. Based on this literature and consultations with peer groups, ZPO summarized it as:

OBP is an “Abandoned Plastic Waste” (microplastics, mezzo-plastics and macro-plastics), located within 50km from shores where waste management is inexistent or inefficient. When already located in a landfill or managed dump site, the plastic waste is not considered as OBP. However, when abandoned in an uncontrolled or informal dump site, this waste is considered as OBP.

Within this more extensive definition, four categories of OBP have been defined in the OBP Certifications Program:


Inadequately collected plastic waste located within a 50 km distance of the coastline


Inadequately collected plastic waste located 200m from rivers & in rivers


Inadequately collected plastic waste located 200m from shores


Used fishing gears and plastic bycatch

Dig further by consulting this detailled OBP definition or consult the OBP Program Defintions and Annexes document.

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