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Nigel Smith European Commission DG Environment Marine Environment and Water Industry Unit Marine litter: Towards a European reduction target.

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Presentation on theme: "Nigel Smith European Commission DG Environment Marine Environment and Water Industry Unit Marine litter: Towards a European reduction target."— Presentation transcript:

1 Nigel Smith European Commission DG Environment Marine Environment and Water Industry Unit Marine litter: Towards a European reduction target

2 The Challenge of Marine Litter Marine litter is a serious problem Marine litter is a shared problem Marine litter is a solvable problem

3 A serious problem Bulgaria : river pollution blocking Vacha Dam, April Source : AFP PHOTO / DIMITAR DILKOFF

4 A serious problem 10 million tonnes of new litter per year worldwide Main component: plastic waste (up to 85% of beach litter in North Sea) Plastics  micro-plastics  plastic soup Discarded fishing gear: "ropes and cord" among top items in North Sea

5 A serious problem "Raider" wrapper (now Twix), found on North Sea beach, December 2013.

6 A serious problem Impacts Environmental/Health impacts: Ghost fishing/POPs Beach Clean-Up: € m p.a. Fishing sector: €60m

7 A shared problem International Regional “Domestic” (European/National/Sub-National)

8 A shared problem Rio+20 (para 163): We note with concern that the health of oceans and marine biodiversity are negatively affected by marine pollution, including marine debris, especially plastic, persistent organic pollutants, heavy metals, and nitrogen-based compounds, from a number of marine and landbased sources, including shipping and land runoff. We commit to take action to reduce the incidence and impacts of such pollution on marine ecosystems, including through the effective implementation of relevant conventions adopted in the framework of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), and the follow up of the relevant initiatives such as the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Landbased Activities, as well as the adoption of coordinated strategies to this end. We further commit to take action to, by 2025, based on collected scientific data, achieve significant reductions in marine debris to prevent harm to the coastal and marine environment.

9 A shared problem Rio+20 (para 163): Collectively commit to take action Achieve significant reductions by 2025 Prevent harm to the coastal and marine environment Recognises plastic problem

10 A shared problem Regional cooperation Barcelona Convention (Mediterranean): First RSC to adopt an action plan on marine litter OSPAR (North East Atlantic): Draft action plan by June 2014 HELCOM (Baltic): Draft action plan by 2015 Bucharest Convention (Black Sea): marine litter as part of overarching strategic action plan

11 A shared problem EU cooperation Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC): "Good Environmental Status" by "descriptors" Descriptor 10: "Properties and quantities of marine litter do not cause harm to the coastal and marine environment." Indicators: Level of litter on beaches/water column/seafloor Presence of microplastics Stomach analysis of marine animals

12 COM report (Art 12): assessment of first round of implementation Coming soon: /marine/index_e n.htm /marine/index_e n.htm A shared problem

13 7 th Environment Action Programme A solvable problem EU quantitative reduction target for marine litter Limiting landfilling to residual waste Limiting energy recovery to non-recyclable waste

14 A solvable problem Municipal Waste Treatment (2011)

15 A solvable problem Waste Review Waste Framework Directive: Increased overall municipal waste recycling waste targets Packaging & Packaging Waste Directive: Increased recycling targets for specific streams, including plastic packaging (c. 60% of plastic marine litter) Landfill Directive: Towards a “residual only” vision for landfill

16 A solvable problem Plastic bags proposal c.100bn single-use plastic bags p.a. (c.200 per person) 8 billion bags as litter Reductions of up to 80% possible

17 Forthcoming Activities HOPE Conference: 3-4 March 2014, Brussels marine/hope-conference Let’s Clean-Up Europe Day: 10 May

18 ec.europa.eu/environment/marine Thank you for your attention!


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