European Commission Public Consultation on Marine Litter

The European Commission has published a stakeholder survey “Reducing marine litter: actions on single use plastics and abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear” as part of the follow up to their Plastics Strategy that looks at marine litter.

A shift in consumer usage towards single-use plastic, combined with the difficulty in disposing this abundant material, has resulted in millions of tonnes of plastic ending up in the oceans and harming marine life. On top of this, an additional source of marine plastic waste comes from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors when fishing gear is lost or discarded.

Marine plastic pollution has serious environmental and economical impacts, and it has been forecast that by 2050 there will be more plastics than fish in our oceans.

Rising amounts of plastic waste and marine litter are among the key problems that the European Commission Action Plan for a Circular Economy (2015) seeks to address.

The European Commission welcome any input to the consultation from stakeholders in the maritime sector.

More information about the plastic waste strategy can be found on the European Commission website here.