PLASTICS AND ENVIRONMENT
Global plastics groups sign Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter / More than 100 projects to be carried out in 32 countries / Belgium starts retrieving floating waste
In the wake of a meeting held in mid-November in Dubai, global plastics industry representatives have agreed on an action plan on marine litter, progress on which is to be reported by each signatory to the “Declaration of the Global Plastics Associations for Solutions on Marine Litter” next year. All in all, 54 plastics industry associations of all over the world have signed the document so far. Aside from common global activities, the plan also outlines about 100 projects, to be carried out in 32 different countries. The public will be able to keep track of the initiatives via the website www.marinelittersolutions.org.

On a global level, the declaration calls for a partnership with The Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), an advisory body to the UN. Welcoming the plan, Steve Russell, vice president plastics at the American Chemistry Council (ACC, Washington DC / USA; www.americanchemistry.com), said, “We look forward to doing our part and working with partners to implement solutions that keep more valuable plastics in productive use through improved stewardship and expended infrastructure to grow recycling and energy recovery.”
Belgium launches pilot project to retrieve floating waste
Meanwhile, as part of Europe’s “Waste Free Oceans Initiative” (see also Plasteurope.com of 19.07.2011), the Belgian association of manufacturers of plastic and rubber products Federplast (Brussels; www.federplast.be) in cooperation with the country’s fishing community launched the “Waste Free Oceans Belgium” pilot project to retrieve floating waste from the sea.

As part of the project, Belgian fishermen will conduct a systematic survey of waste in Belgian ports over the next few weeks, and will fish for 5 days at sea using trawls designed to retrieve floating waste. Depending on the survey’s outcome, it may be decided to extend such activities with the support of the European Fishery Funds, Federplast said. All the collected waste will be sent to the sorting facilities of the federally funded “Fishing for Litter” initiative, operated by the Belgian Foundation for Sustainable Development of Fisheries (Oostende; www.sdvo.be). Once analysed, the waste will then be recycled by mixed plastics recycling specialist Ekol (Houthalen-Helchteren / Belgium; www.ekol.be).

Echoing the sentiment expressed by the ACC in Dubai, Federplast president Stéphane Dalimier said, “Plastic waste has nothing to do at sea. It should be recivered as a resource for the plastics industry to be transformed into new products.”
25.11.2011 Plasteurope.com [220914-0]
Published on 25.11.2011
Kunststoffe und Umwelt: Aktionsplan gegen Maritimes LitteringGerman version of this article...

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