Marine litter is a global challenge that affects the world’s oceans, seas and rivers, harming wild life, fisheries and tourism. This phenomenon needs to be addressed with all the available means, given its environmental, economic and health impact.
While the causes of marine litter are many and complex and cannot be solved by one stakeholder group alone, the European plastics industry is determined to drive multi-stakeholder action on the issue both in Europe and at international level. In 2011, plastics organizations from around the world voluntarily signed "The Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter” to achieve substantial progress in reducing damage to the marine environment. Today, 70 plastics industry associations in 35 countries have joined and over 260 projects focused on researching, preventing or reducing marine litter have since then seen the light.
As part of this commitment to the Global Declaration, the plastics industry associations from all over the world have published an annual progress report and have agreed to focus on projects to address marine litter on these six key objectives: raising awareness, research for facts, spreading knowledge, promoting best policies, enhance plastics recycling/recovery and preventing pellet losses. Since 2013 the Global Declaration is part of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Global Partnership on Marine Litter.
Nonetheless, more needs to be done. On the occasion of the World Oceans Day and the current United Nations Oceans Conference in New York, PlasticsEurope would like to highlight the importance of two essential elements to prevent littering: raising awareness to trigger a behavioural shift in society and proper waste management systems and infrastructures.
As an industry, we are determined to drive multi-stakeholder action on the issue both in Europe and at international level. Whatever its origin, plastics littered in any environment is not acceptable, and the plastic industry is keen to work in partnerships to tackle the problem at source.