Blue Growth Working Group
Innovative solutions to preventing marine litter
ERRIN – European Regions Research and Innovation Network
The Blue Circular Economy team was invited to participate in a working group meeting in Brussels last week by ERRIN- the European Regions Research and Innovation Network.The meeting was hosted by the North Denmark EU office.The working group, titled Blue Growth, had gathered to discuss innovative solutions to preventing marine litter.
The group heard from Paolo Lemos ,Portugal’s Secretary of State for the Environment at the European Commission, who, among other items, briefed the group on the upcoming EPR or Extended Producers Responsibility scheme which will cover “the costs of separate collection and further treatment for waste fishing gear.”
Other topics that were covered included the upcoming legislation that will require that Member States establish national collection targets as well as monitoring requirements for any fishing gear being put on the market.
There was also discussion on the work underway to develop harmonized standards for the circular design of fishing gear. The new port facilities directive will also require that all waste from ships, including fishing vessels and recreational craft be delivered to adequate port reception facilities, where it should be properly collected and treated.
The working group also covered other plastic related topics including micro-plastics, bio-plastics, policies and directives being implemented as well the Circular Plastics Alliance consisting of public and private stakeholders in the plastics value chains, who met recently to present and adopt a declaration that among other things “describes the alliance’s vision for more recycled plastics in Europe, as well as the alliance’s commitments to reach the EU target. Namely, that 10 million tonnes of recycled plastics find their way into products in the EU by 2025.”