serious - Hold Norge Rent

Marine litter:
Towards a European reduction target
Nigel Smith
European Commission
DG Environment
Marine Environment and Water
Industry Unit
The Challenge of Marine Litter
• Marine litter is a serious problem
• Marine litter is a shared problem
• Marine litter is a solvable problem
A serious problem
Bulgaria : river pollution blocking Vacha Dam, April 2009.
A serious problem
• 10 million tonnes of new litter per year
• 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
A serious problem
"Raider" wrapper (now Twix), found on North Sea beach, December 2013.
A serious problem
• Environmental/Health
impacts: Ghost fishing/POPs
• Beach Clean-Up: €200-600m
• Fishing sector: €60m
A shared problem
• International
• Regional
• “Domestic”
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.
A shared problem
Rio+20 (para 163):
• Collectively commit to
take action
• Achieve significant
reductions by 2025
• Prevent harm to the
coastal and marine
• Recognises plastic
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
A shared problem
EU cooperation
• Marine Strategy Framework Directive (2008/56/EC):
• "Good Environmental Status" by 2020
• 11 "descriptors"
• Descriptor 10: "Properties and quantities of marine litter
do not cause harm to the coastal and marine
• Indicators:
Level of litter on beaches/water column/seafloor
Presence of microplastics
Stomach analysis of marine animals
A shared problem
• COM report (Art
12): assessment
of first round of
• Coming soon:
A solvable problem
7th Environment Action Programme
• EU quantitative reduction
target for marine litter
• Limiting landfilling to
residual waste
• Limiting energy recovery
to non-recyclable waste
A solvable problem
Municipal Waste Treatment (2011)
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
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
Forthcoming Activities
HOPE Conference:
3-4 March 2014, Brussels
Let’s Clean-Up Europe Day:
10 May 20014
Thank you for your attention!