The Roundtable on Marine Litter has been working for seven years on recommendations for action to combat plastic pollution in the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The starting situation for setting up the Roundtable on Marine Litter was the national implementation of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive in Germany. The Roundtable thus set out to develop concrete strategies for implementing measures to meet the national targets. At the beginning of June 2023, the participants met up with the patrons of the Roundtable, Germany's Environment Minister, Steffi Lemke, the Lower Saxony Environment Minister, Christian Meyer, and the President of the Federal Environment Agency, Dirk Messner, in Berlin, to present the results of their work to date.
The Roundtable on Marine Litter has, since 2016, been supporting the implementation of national measures to combat marine litter, and serves as an information and exchange platform for all relevant interest groups. Around 130 experts take part, including some from the fishing and shipping industry, from industry generally (plastics, rubber, cosmetics, packaging, automotive), retailing, science, education, tourism, environmental associations, authorities, politics and administration, here especially from the German states located in the vicinity of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The results of the cooperation so far are many and varied. They include among other things the provision of action guidelines or recommendations, such as best-practice examples for communities to reduce plastic litter and optimise the collection facilities in ports and harbours to prevent litter getting into the sea. Furthermore, a briefing paper on the subject of microplastic discharges into the marine environment has been published, showing the current state of knowledge and the priority action requirements. The results also include recommendations for the avoidance and reliable recovery of abandoned nets, for the disposal of fishing gear in the fishing industry, and training concepts for various age groups and advice on carrying out litter collection campaigns close to the coast. An educational concept for various age groups and sectors has also been developed as part of the cooperation in the Roundtable on Marine Litter. On the Roundtable’s Internet platform, more than 120 activities and measures taken by members and players of the Roundtable can be accessed. This also includes the BKV GmbH model on the land-based discharge pathways of plastics into the seas.
- press release Federal Environment Agency (2.6.2023)
- Photo: © unsplash.com, Andrei Ciobanu