11 Aug 2021
CLAIM policy brief: Supporting wider uptake of marine litter clean-up technologies
Marine litter pollution, including plastic litter, is a complex issue that has become one of the major environmental challenges of our time. The first CLAIM policy brief is called “Improving policy to support wider uptake of marine litter clean-up technologies across European seas: The CLAIM Contribution“. The brief provides recommendations to policy makers to ensure that laws and policies better support the wider take-up of cost-effective marine litter clean-up technologies.
The best way to tackle plastic marine litter is to prevent it from reaching the sea at all. This is why in the past couple of years, the project’s team has been developing innovative technologies which have different noble aims.
For example, the CLAIM project is developing innovative technologies to: capture microplastics from wastewater by treating plastic particles with photocatalysis and nanocoating; prevent riverine litter from reaching marine environments; and create energy from collected litter using pyrolysis. However, this alone is not enough. Legal and policy frameworks (and where appropriate, financial incentives and support) need to facilitate the use of those technologies, or at the very least not pose a barrier to their use. At the same time policies should ban the disposal of plastics in landfills.
The project’s recommendations are:
1. Adapt existing international, regional and national laws and policies with explicit reference to micro and macro plastic marine litter;
2. Introduce new policy targets to limit the amount of macro and microplastics and ensure both existing and new marine litter-related targets are monitored and met;
3. Develop a specific piece of EU legislation to tackle microplastic pollution;
4. Mobilise funding and/or financial incentives explicitly to support the wider use of proven clean-up technologies;
5. Ensure coordination and clear allocation of responsibilities between different levels of government;
6. Create platforms for stakeholder engagement and best practice sharing to inform policy relevant to marine litter.
This CLAIM policy brief is based on the report “Report of legal and policy framework, including results from stakeholder interviews”, written by Emma Watkins (IEEP), Sofia Frantzi (VUA), Roy Brouwer (VUA), et al.
If you’re interested to read more about CLAIM’s technologies and recommendations, you can access CLAIM’s policy brief collection here.