BlueMed Pilot action on a Healthy Plastic-free Mediterranean Sea

The BlueMed Pilot action, launched in 2018, consists in mapping and assessing the actions on place regarding marine plastic pollution in the EU and non EU countries of the Mediterranean area to promote the circulation of good practices, R&I actions but also demonstration, communication and educations actions specifically addressed to face the challenges posed by marine litter in the Mediterranean Sea as a whole.

(image credits: Legambiente, Anna Paola Montuoro)
(image credits: Legambiente, Anna Paola Montuoro)

WHY an action on plastic litter in the Mediterranean?

Why the pilot - infographics

About 8 million tons of plastic litter enters the ocean every year, threatening marine wildlife and ecosystems, and indirectly the human health, and the sea based economies. Plastic pollution represents a transboundary problem and thus it requires global coordination and long-term multiple approaches to develop shared solutions. Mediterranean Sea is strongly impacted by marine litter of different size found along the coastlines, floating both on the surface and on the water column down to the seafloor. Currently, Mediterranean is now one of the seas more affected by plastic pollution at world scale, with record levels of microplastics.  With only 1% of the World’s waters, Mediterranean Sea concentrates 7% of all global microplastics, earning the “plastic trap” appellative.

It has been largely demonstrated that marine litter directly affect living organisms, especially due to macro-plastics presence and micro-plastics ingestion, threatening marine species and consequently human health. Thus, Mediterranean plastic pollution represents today a serious risk for the local environment and human health, but also for the key economic sectors that rely on sea resources and heath as for Fisheries and Tourism.


BM - pilot keywords

the actions to take forward:

The participants to an exploratory workshop (held in Brussells in 2018) identified the following categories of actions to be supported and taken forward:


BM - Pilot actions infographics


The Pilot Action process

National Hubs on Marine Litter: a mapping

A broad range of initiatives and projects addressing marine litter are ongoing in Mediterranean countries, and are shown in the image and tables below. This gathering of information will be a continuous process that will need to take account of the many other initiatives going on ‘on land’ to complete the picture of the of the Mediterranean landscape, identify potential synergies and sharpen the focus of action of the BlueMed Pilot.

In a first exploratory workshop on 12 March 2019, as well in following meetings, experts from Mediterranean countries from public administrations, science, industry and civil society met to define a common direction of travel. Following presentations on the state of plastic pollution in the Mediterranean and the current regulatory framework addressing marine litter, examples of ongoing initiatives by researchers, companies and civil society were given which provided a snapshot of the complexity of the problem at hand and the breadth of efforts that will be required to tackle it.

Please browse the tabs to read and download the countries’ mapping of national iniatitives. 

Support actions to the Pilot

SEMED platform

A support action for networking within the Pilot.

BlueMed e-training

Understanding and Acting for a Healthy, Plastic free Mediteranean Sea. Building a sustainable blue economy in the basin.

A BlueMed e-trainig encompassing the studies on plastic pollution, its impact on marine ecosystems, the technologies for removal, also connecting the plastics issue to the circular blue economy perspective, addressing at the same time the role of citizens and governance in the Mediterranean.

BlueMed Hackhaton

Ideas and solutions for a Healthy Plastic Free Mediterranean Sea

In the frame of the Pilot Action on marine litter, BlueMed launched an Hackathon team challenge dedicated to 18-30 year-old MSc and PhD candidates or graduates in STEM disciplines, designers/creatives and marine sciences young professionals, to develop ideas and solutions for a Healthy Plastic Free Mediterranean Sea and to promote sustainable blue growth and circular bioeconomy in the Mediterranean.

BlueMed Pilot Partners

Resources and publications

More resources:

More material on Blue Growth issues, including plastic litter, here.

Latest news on the pilot action on plastic litter