An official website of the United States government.

This is not the current EPA website. To navigate to the current EPA website, please go to This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2021. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work. More information »

International Cooperation

Trash Free Waters (TFW) International Implementation Guide

The Trash Free Waters (TFW) International Implementation Guide is a tool that provides step-by-step guidance in order to establish a TFW program and implement related TFW projects. TFW is U.S. EPA’s approach to address land-based sources of marine litter. This approach is designed to include all stakeholders, either at the national, state, or community level, in decision-making to address marine, coastal and watershed issues related to marine litter, as well as identifying and executing improvements to solid waste management. TFW works by bringing together stakeholders to identify and prioritize their most immediate marine litter challenges and develop actionable solutions to address them. 

The TFW International Implementation Guide follows a logical, step-by-step approach to address marine litter in a holistic manner and helps stakeholders identify low-cost, low-tech projects that can be implemented in a flexible time frame. The steps to establish a TFW Program and implement related TFW projects are explained in the Guide and include:

1.           Form a Trash Free Waters Launch Team
2.           Conduct the Situational Assessment
3.           Convene Stakeholder Dialogue(s)
4.           Project Implementation and Further Actions
5.           Monitoring, Evaluating, and Sustaining a Trash Free Waters program

The Guide is designed to be used by representatives from all levels of government, non-governmental organizations, and community leaders. It provides users with tools, guidance and templates that can be used to organize, implement and sustain a TFW program. 

Download a PDF of the Trash Free Waters International Implementation Guide using the link below:

You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.