Archipelagos participated in the meeting organized by the European association of non-governmental environmental organisations “Seas at Risk” on November 4th. The meeting, held at the European Parliament in Brussels, was entitled: “Making the link: marine litter and the circular economy”. Archipelagos, which is a member of the “Seas at Risk”, was represented in the meeting by the researcher, Ms. Marika Panayiotou.

The focus of the meeting was the devastating effects on natural ecosystems caused by inefficient waste management practices by the EU member states. Discussions focused on the ways in which policy makers and stakeholders should jointly launch a meaningful dialogue about the effective management of marine litter.

The removal of debris from beaches and surface waters was highlighted at the meeting as a temporary small scale solution to the major problem of marine litter and was deemed insufficient. There is an increasingly urgent need for larger-scale, truly effective actions and coordination to provide a real solution.

Among the other proposals discussed was the creation of European strategies that could promote waste prevention through specific directives, ecodesign and efficient waste collection. At the same time, it was stressed that the “Marine Strategy Framework Directive” can be used as significant opportunity towards more efficient solutions.

Archipelagos is persistently making great efforts to address the primary causes of the increasing litter, which ends up in our seas. Our main objective is to identify the factors at the root of the problem and promote the necessary actions in a local, national and EU level to efficiently resolve them.