Marine debris, also known as marine litter, is human created waste that has deliberately or accidentally become afloat in a lake, sea, ocean or waterway. Oceanic debris tends to accumulate at the centre of gyres and on coastlines, frequently washing aground, when it is known as beach litter or tidewrack. Deliberate disposal of wastes at sea is called ocean dumping.
Some seeming forms of marine debris, such as driftwood, occur naturally, and human activities have been discharging similar material into the oceans for thousands of years. Recently however, with the increasing use of plastic, human influence has become an issue as many types of plastics do not biodegrade. Waterborne plastic poses a serious threat to fish, seabirds, marine reptiles, and marine mammals, as well as to boats and coastal habitations. Ocean dumping, accidental container spillages, litter washed into storm drains, and wind-blown landfill waste are all contributing to this problem.