The ACT4LITTER decision-making tool: an innovative system that provides essential support to MPA managers

At the heart of ACT4LITTER lays the decision-making tool, an innovative system that provides essential support to MPA managers in order to address marine litter. The decision making tool was elaborated in close collaboration with MPA managers and marine litter experts, building upon the ACT4LITTER list of some 100 showcases of best practice marine litter measures.

The novelty of the tool is that it helps MPA managers to identify the most effective and feasible marine litter measures for their specific context. In this respect, the tool gathers information from users by asking seven questions; then it matches this information with the criteria of the mapped best practice marine litter measures and comes up with a shortlist of measures that are relevant to the MPA specific needs.

The tool was developed through a five-step process. Initially, best practice marine litter measures were identified and fully mapped (step 1). These measures were assessed by marine litter experts on the basis of six social-economic-environmental criteria (step 2) and a data warehouse containing the measures collected and key indicators was built (step 3). On the basis of the collected information and knowledge, the shortlisting of best practices was automated through the development of an algorithm (step 4) and the design of an online user-friendly (step 5).

Have a look to the ACT4LITTER decision-making tool at: and find out what action you can undertake in your area to combat marine litter!


Since my very first encounter with ACT4LITTER project, I have been extremely curious about the decision making tool and how this could be applicable and helpful for our day-to-day operations within the Ebro Delta Natural Park. Initially this tool seemed too abstract for me to relate to, but now that I have seen some trial runs I am confident that this tool can empower us in taking more informed and effective decisions with regards to marine litter management priorities and ways to address them” – Mr. Xavier Abril, Ebro Delta Natural Park, Spain