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03-19-2015

New Study by NCEAS on Marine Debris

The European plastics industry set up 185 projects aimed at tackling marine litter (figure: fotolia/siimsepp)

The European plastics industry set up 185 projects aimed at tackling marine litter (figure: fotolia/siimsepp)

"Science" magazine recently published a study on the extent of marine pollution from the National Center of Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), a research center from the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA/USA. The study quantifies the amount of waste entering the oceans from land, provides strategies for combating marine litter and underlines the importance of efficient waste management systems.

PlasticsEurope, the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe, is also very interested in any study that boosts our knowledge of marine litter. The industry remains committed to highlighting the importance of proper waste management as key to preventing plastics waste ending up in the (marine) environment.

In 2011, the European plastics industry launched the "Zero Plastics to Landfill" initiative, which seeks to reduce the amount of post-consumer waste sent to landfills to zero. Seven EU member states plus Norway and Switzerland have already introduced landfill bans or similar measures. The experience gained in these countries shows that this is the right approach. Needless to say, Germany, with its recycling rate of 99 %, is a paragon of plastics waste recycling.

The European plastics industry, together with global plastics associations and other organizations, issued a "Joint Declaration against Marine Litter" and set up 185 projects aimed at tackling marine litter. The declaration, adopted in 2011, is a public commitment by the global plastics industry to combat plastics waste in the marine environment.

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