40,000 people, 35 countries and over 950 clean-up operations across the globe has signalled to policy makers that marine litter must be taken seriously and acted on accordingly through appropriate legislation.

40,000 people, 35 countries and over 950 clean-up operations across the globe has signalled to policy makers that marine litter must be taken seriously and acted on accordingly through appropriate legislation.

The beach clean-up operation known as Ocean Initiatives and organised by Seas At Risk member the Surfrider Foundation Europe has been running for 16 years.

The event took place at the end of March and involved thousands of volunteers including both adults and children cleaning up litter found on beaches, lakes and rivers.

European citizens made a strong signal of intent with clean-ups taking place in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Ireland, Autria, Denmark and Greece.

EU TO ACT ON PLASTIC BAGS?

Earlier this year European Commissioner for the Environment Janez Potočnik signaled that the Commission would investigate acting on plastic bags - one of the most ubiquitous items of litter found in the marine environment.

Potočnik said that a European wide ban on single use non-biodegradeable plastic bags would be investigated, along with other measures such as price and tax incentives.

Seas At Risk highlighted the issue at last year’s OSPAR Ministerial Meeting and have been demanding a suite of measures to help tackle all sources and all types of marine litter.

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