29 Apr 2022
CLAIM final meeting: Paving the way towards plastic-free European waters Reports and Proceedings
Did you know that the EU targets the improvement of water quality by reducing plastic litter at sea by 50% and of microplastics by 30% by 2030 (Zero Pollution Action Plan)? In response to this target, for the past four and a half years the CLAIM project has been actively working to contribute to this by applying various technological and methodological measures.
The EU Horizon 2020 project CLAIM has been working to prevent and manage both micro- and macroplastics through the development of new cleaning technologies and redefined methodological approaches. Formed by a consortium of leading international experts from 15 countries in Europe and beyond, CLAIM succeeded in delivering qualitative research with the capacity to reduce the amount and impact of plastic pollution on the ecosystem-based services of the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas.
On 27 April 2022, the CLAIM consortium, along with a representative from the European Commission, gathered in an online environment to mark the end of the project’s duration by discussing its achievements, challenges and future recommendations for research and policy.
“What we did in CLAIM will have an impact on the entire society, as the plastic pollution issue affects the health of every creature,” the project coordinator George Triantafyllou from the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR), Greece, comments. “We hope that our long-lasting legacy has set a good example and paved the way for further research and policy change.”
CLAIM has been engaging with representatives from policy, industry, academia and society in order to impact these key sectors. In this relation, the project had the overarching goal to increase awareness and acceptance in society of the importance of plastic-free seas and oceans. During its lifespan, the project has organised several capacity-building and stakeholder engagement activities in the CLAIM case study areas and beyond.
Additionally, CLAIM developed policy briefs on how to improve legislation and support wider uptake of marine litter clean-up technologies across European seas. The goal was, among others, to impact European policies on single-use plastics, as well as to advocate for the inclusion of an explicit definition of micro and macro plastic in relevant EU legislation.
Moreover, as the project’s innovative technologies for limiting and preventing plastic pollution have reached a high technology readiness level, CLAIM identified the most promising business cases and developed viable business plans in order to secure their further uptake by industry.
Last but not least, contributions to the science field have been recognised, while discussing the CLAIM research topic in the Frontiers in Marine Science journal. The collection serves to showcase the outcomes of the project-derived research studies and to promote the various approaches for marine litter prevention.