Plastics Industry To Fight Ocean Debris

Plastics Industry To Fight Ocean Debris

Marine Debris on Hawaiian Coast. Courtesy: NOAA
On March 22nd, 2010, at the 5th International Marine Debris Conference in Hawaii, plastics industry organizations from several countries agreed to collaborate on the battle against marine debris.

Working together,  they signed and released what is known as the "Joint Declaration for Solutions on Marine Litter".  The Declaration details a six-point strategy to be undertaken by the plastics industry to fight ocean debris.

  • Work in public-private partnerships aimed at preventing marine debris
  • Work with the scientific community to better understand the scope, origins and impact of marine litter and the range of solutions to the problem
  • Promote comprehensive science-based policies and enforcement of existing laws to prevent marine litter
  • Promote best practice in waste management, in particular in coastal regions
  • Enhance opportunities to recover plastic products for recycling and energy recovery
  • Steward the transport and distribution of plastic resin pellets and products to its customers and promote this practice along the supply chain

With estimates of 80% of marine debris originally coming from land, the European plastics industry acknowledged that the causes of marine litter are many and complex.  They said the problem cannot be solved by one stakeholder group alone.

Jacques van Rijckevorsel, President of PlasticsEurope, stated:  “Plastics contribute significantly to enhancing the quality of our lives, to preserving our
resources and to enabling innovation. However, they should be responsibly used and disposed of either via recycling or energy recovery.

By promoting and enforcing practices that ensure plastics do not end up in landfills or in our seas, European countries will be in a strong position to help tackle marine litter. The European plastics industry is committed to being at the forefront of this effort in the coming months and years.”

Learn more about plastics and marine debris, visit PlasticsEurope website.


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