TAIEX EPPA Regional Workshop on Managing Marine Litter

Tags: Water

The TAIEX EPPA Sub- Regional Workshop focusing on sources, policy responses and cost of actions of minimizing the level of plastics and microplastics in the marine and coastal area was held on 16– 17 June 2021.

TAIEX EPPA Regional Workshop on Managing Marine Litter

The aim of the workshop was to strengthen the national capacities of EPPA beneficiaries to effectively address the major challenges relating to the increasing amounts of litter accumulating in the marine environment and to reduce land-based sources of pollution.

The workshop was opened with the remarks of Ms. Madalina Ivanica Team Leader, European Commission’s Directorate General for the Environment on behalf of Ms. Veronica Manfredi, Director Quality of Life Directorate, DG ENV, European Commission and Mr. Lawrence Meredith, Director at the European Commission DG NEAR as well as high level speakers of the Beneficiaries – Albania, Ms. Klodiana Marika, Director Department of Development Programmes on Environment, Ministry of Tourism and Environment and Mr. Danilo Mrdak, State Secretary, Ministry of Ecology, Spatial Planning and Urbanism, Montenegro.

Ms. Madalina Ivanica during her introduction speech presented goals of the recently adopted Zero Pollution Action Plan aimed at improving water quality by reducing waste, plastic litter at sea (by 50%) and microplastics released into the environment (by 30%).

Guidance on preventing and reducing the level of microplastics in the marine area, in the context of achieving circular economy, and in line with the objectives of the Single Use Plastic Strategy (SUP), the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Water Framework Directive (WFD), and the international goals of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans, also was provided.

The event was an opportunity for the representatives of the EPPA beneficiaries to get information as well as undertake an in-depth discussion on the prevention and reduction of the marine litter, plastics and microplastics. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most economically important seas in the world. The blue economy however, depends on healthy marine ecosystems and biodiversity, especially for the fishing and tourism sectors.

It was clearly identified that a major global environmental crisis as the biodiversity loss is considered one of the top threats that will impact the global economy over the next decade. Marine litter including coastal plastic litter remains a clearly complex region concern. Very large quantities of plastic waste leak into the environment from sources both on land and at sea, generating significant economic and environmental damage.

The workshop offered a platform for participants to present and exchange their experiences and lessons learned from addressing land-based and sea-based sources of marine litter. A series of marine litter related best practices were highlighted  within a circular economy context.

Best practices shared by participants from other regions were complemented with knowledge sharing on issues related to MPA designation, prevention and control of microplastics pollution and respective regulations and guidelines, and the latest trends and findings on marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea with regards to amounts, sources, impacts, implications and solutions.

Effective marine litter solutions require actions and best practices to increase litter prevention, reducing, reusing and recycling, to protect biodiversity and ensure ecosystem functions and services, to improve understanding among the public of the potential consequences of its actions, to promote adequate legal and enforcement systems and guarantee financial resources, along with strong regional and international partnerships.

During the workshop major challenges have been identified as follow:

  • Increasing amounts of litter accumulating in the marine environment require actions aimed at reducing land-based sources of pollution;
  • Decreasing and minimizing the level of microplastics in the marine area, in the context of achieving circular economy, and in synergy with the process of reaching the objectives of the Single Use Plastic Strategy (SUP), the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the international goals of the Regional Seas Conventions and Action Plans.

Participants of the workshop came to conclusions and recommendations:

  • Reduce, reuse and recycle plastic, to protect biodiversity and ensure ecosystem functions and services;
  • Improve understanding among the public of the potential consequences of its actions, to promote adequate legal and enforcement systems and guarantee financial resources, along with strong regional and international partnerships.
  • Very large quantities of plastic waste leak into the environment from sources both on land and at sea, generating significant economic and environmental damage. Strengthened requirements and approach for pollution reduction are necessary to have healthy and productive Mediterranean region.

Management of marine litter can present environmental and economic opportunities. Plastic and other materials can be stopped through recovery and recycling before they become marine litter. All of these possibilities need to be addressed using all the capacity present  at local, national, and regional levels for the governance and protection of ecosystems.

Newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter to always be up to date.

Credits