In both a staff working document and in the draft 7th Environmental Action Programme, the European Commission has proposed an EU wide marine litter reduction target.

In both a staff working document and in the draft 7th Environmental Action Programme, the European Commission has proposed an EU wide marine litter reduction target.

The Commission’s proposal for a 7th EEA states that the EU and its Member States shall ensure by 2020 to establish an EU-wide quantitative reduction target for marine litter.

In the staff working document, it is suggested that an EU baseline for litter in the marine environment could be established in 2013, and that this could be further used to consider an EU wide reduction target. The document is unclear as to the exact status that such an EU target would have, but the approach seems sound given the EU’s Rio +20 commitment to a significant reduction in marine litter by 2025.

The Marine Strategy Framework Directive requires EU member states to establish their own national reduction targets for 2020. With a number of states having failed to meet the July 2012 deadline for doing so, doubts have been raised about the national commitment and level of ambition.

IS EU LEGISLATION ADEQUATE?

Also in the Commission working document is a brief review of some existing legislation with relevance to the marine litter issue. The report indicates that in some areas it is better implementation of existing legislation that is required from Member States.

However the paper does not go into great detail as to where the obstacles and opportunities for improving European legislation exist. In 2013 Seas At Risk will be focusing on this aspect of the marine litter issue and will be working to ensure that adequate and appropriate measures are taken to reduce marine litter at the European level.

For more information on the marine litter working document


For more information on the 7th EAP

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