Global plastics industry launches action plan for solutions on marine litter

On November 16 and 17, plastics industry representatives from across the world met in Dubai to create  a global action plan for solutions on marine litter. This action plan describes actions to be taken and progress to be reported in 2012. Today approximately 100 projects have been identified, which will be carried out in 32 countries, in addition to the global activities supported by all signatories.

Recognising that solutions to marine litter will require global cooperation, the plastics industry is inviting other interested stakeholders, to join in these actions and others to prevent marine litter. Wilfried Haensel, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope said the meeting was "a great step forward by these plastics industry representatives through committing to the global action plan for solutions on marine litter”, while Patrick Thomas, President of PlasticsEurope and CEO of Bayer Material Sciences added that "The global plastics industry is determined to do its part and play a constructive role in building new partnerships to shape solutions to the issue of marine litter”. The activities run by the global plastics industry will be publicly available at: www.marinelittersolutions.org. The website has been launched in English, and will over time display the content in different languages.

The "Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter” has been adopted by 54 plastics industry organisations so far. It outlines a six-point strategy for industry action, and advocates close cooperation with a broad range of stakeholders to shape solutions for the marine environment. By way of example, initiatives where our industries already have been involved include: Vacances Propres in France, Keep America Beautiful in the US, Cool Seas in the UK, and the International Coastal Cleanup in South Africa.  They will serve as a catalyser for further action in other regions.

Amongst the activities that the industry is implementing within the joint declaration is a partnership with The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP).  GESAMP is an advisory body to the United Nations (UN) system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection. The plastics industry has committed to support GESAMP’s effort to evaluate the sources, fate and effects of micro-plastics in the marine environment. Jan-Erik Johansson, Ressource Efficiency Programme Director at PlasticsEurope said: "We are proud to join the GESAMP initiative as one part of our industry’s effort to better understand and prevent marine litter”.
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