The relentless increase of marine litter and the impact it has on our oceans.


Our oceans have become the biggest waste dumping ground on the planet with reusable plastic contributing to the problem. Hundreds of fishing nets are lost in the arctic ocean causing irreversible damage and by 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the world's oceans.

Economic Damage

The total economic damage of marine plastic waste is estimated at almost €12 billion per year including environmental, commercial and clean-up costs.

Poor Waste Management

Up to 12.7 million tons of marine plastic waste enters the oceans each year due to poor waste management practices.

Ghost Fishing Nets

Over 33,000 nets are estimated to be lost in selected European fisheries annually due to bad weather conditions, gear conflict and ocean currents.

Biodiversity Damage

Long term effects on marine life include impacts on marine ecosystems that ultimately leads to loss of biodiversity.


Plastic material absorbs persistent organic pollutant from its ambient environment, which if ingested by marine organisms, may enter the food web.

Marine Life At Risk

Experts believe that entanglement by fishing-related gear is the number 1 threat to seabirds, turtles and marine mammals by marine debris.

The countries of the Northern Periphery and Arctic region share the following common challenges:


As a result of climate change, there is now greater accessibility to the Northern Sea Route, resulting in increased sea traffic and greater amounts of marine litter. The BCE project aims to promote SME's to develop innovative solutions to address this issue.


The average population density of habitable regions of the NPA region is very low compared to the European Union average. Proving difficult for both the local and the enterprise communities to develop commercially viable ways to remove the plastic waste.


Remote regions of the NPA area face important decisions on how they deal with materials which may not have been produced or used locally, but have washed up onto their shores and seas. BCE will work with local communities to address this.