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.
WHY an action on plastic litter in the Mediterranean?
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.
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:
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, 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.
BlueMed Pilot Partners
Resources and publications
- Margherita Cappelletto, Healthy Plastic-free Mediterranean Sea BLUEMED Pilot Initiative (presentation for the UfM Regional Stakeholders Conference on Blue Economy – Thematic Workshop on Marine Litter, Barcelona, UfM Secretariat, 10-11 March 2020 – cancelled due to COVID-19 outbreak)
- Marine litter/Plastics projects funded under Horizon 2020
More material on Blue Growth issues, including plastic litter, here.
Latest news on the pilot action on plastic litter
A Plastic-free healthy Mediterranean Sea: operationalizing the BLUEMED R&I Pilot Action | Venice, January 20, 2020
A Plastic-free healthy Mediterranean Sea: operationalizing the BLUEMED R&I Pilot Action | Venice, January 20, 2020Back-to-back event with the Mediterranean Regional Workshop preparing the UN-Decade of Ocean Science Arsenale, Venice. (credits: grobery – Flickr) Following the special event at Ecomondo in November 2019, the BlueMed Pilot Action “Plastic-free for a healthy Mediterranean Sea” is again […]
BlueMed at the EcoMondo fair in Rimini | 6-7-8 Nov. 2019 The EcoMondo logo (from www.ecomondo.com) The Italian coastal city of Rimini will be, like every year, the venue of the EcoMondo Fair, the benchmark event in Europe for technological and industrial innovation regarding circular economy. BlueMed will participate with a dedicated stand, beacon […]
Bluemed Week | 23-25 October 2018 | Barcelona Spain The BLUEMED Week, successful alignment of Mediterranean blue stakeholders Held from 23 to 25 October in Barcelona in the premises of the Union for the Mediterranean, the BLUEMED Week has been a crucial turning point for the BLUEMED Initiative. On the first day, the steering group […]
Bluemed week | 23-25 October 2018 | Barcelona, Spain BLUEMED Week 23 – 25 October 2018, Palau Reial de Pedralbes, Barcelona, Spain 11 September 2018 On the 23-25 October 2018 the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) will host the BLUEMED Week, a 3 days event dedicated to the Mediterranean Sea aiming at promoting the […]