Waste management, key to tackle marine litter

New study by NCEAS on waste coming from land into oceans

Science magazine now published a study on marine debris from the National Center of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), a research center from the University of California, Santa Barbara. The study quantifies waste coming from land into our oceans, offers insights on strategies to tackle marine litter and underlines the importance of proper waste management systems.  

PlasticsEurope, the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe, welcomes any study which helps to better understand the impact and global dimensions of marine litter. The industry continues in its efforts to highlight the importance of proper waste management systems as key to tackle plastics waste ending up in the (marine) environment.  

"We, as an industry, are not only seriously concerned about marine litter: we take action. In 2011, the European plastics industry launched the initiative Zero Plastics to Landfill, which aims at reducing the amount of post-consumer plastics waste sent to landfills to zero. Seven EU member states plus Norway and Switzerland introduced landfill bans or similar measures applicable to plastics waste. The experience of these nine countries shows that phasing out landfilling together with a better implementation and enforcement of existing waste legislation is crucial to tackle this issue” said Karl-H. Foerster, Executive Director of PlasticsEurope.  

At global level, the European plastics industry together with their global peers and other stakeholders have put in place more than 185 projects to tackle marine litter through the Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter, a public commitment by the global plastics industry to tackle plastic waste in the marine environment. (www.marinelittersolutions.com)  

Another example of the efforts that the industry is doing to share "best practices” in plastics waste management is the "Identiplast” conference (www.identiplast.eu). The event where international experts will share their knowledge to identify key drivers to reach a zero plastics waste society will take place in Rome.

"IdentiPlast is relevant to local authorities and municipalities, policy makers, waste management organisations, plastics recyclers, manufacturers, converters and compounders, but also to OEMs, academia and research institutes and NGOs to understand how we can solve this issue” concluded Karl-H. Foerster.          
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