EU threshold value for litter on the beach

EU threshold value for litter on the beach


In September, the member states of the European Union agreed on a threshold value for marine litter on coasts. The figure that had been initially developed by the Commission is now valid and is below 20 pieces of waste per 100 meters of coastline. According to the Commission, a fixed, tangible target now exists for all Europe's beaches, and that in turn represents a commitment to keep them clean.

For EU Environment Commissioner, Virginijus Sinkevicius, the agreement concluded ahead of the Coastal Clean-up Days of 19 September is a sign that Europe has intensified the fight against litter on beaches and coasts. He said there is now a clear benchmark for the target of zero pollution. The Environment Commissioner added that it is now up to the authorities of the member states to use this as a basis for the introduction of useful measures. The threshold value has been developed in connection with the marine strategy framework directive. The directive obliges the member states to develop and implement strategies to protect the marine environment.

Apart from that, at the end of November, Scandinavian environment ministers called for a global agreement that would reduce plastic litter in the oceans: The environment ministers from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden suggested a UN agreement that would create identical competitive conditions across the entire value chain so as to accelerate the transformation of industry and the existing voluntary initiatives. By doing this, they want to achieve a situation in which measures are coordinated across the entire value chain and compliance with the respective commitments and obligations is improved. The agreement also aims to create greater transparency so as to be able to measure progress more effectively. The proposal for a global agreement of this kind also aims at bringing together governments, industry and consumers to one table. They should, for example, also agree on sustainability criteria for plastic products throughout their entire life cycle.


  • (18.09.2020)
  • Kunststoff Information, (30.11.2020)
  • Photo: © BKV GmbH / Fabiano Barretto

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