Strasbourg - Seas At Risk is today welcoming the European Parliament’s call for an EU marine litter reduction target of 50% by 2025, which Seas At Risk and its members have been advocating.

The original ‘headline’ reduction target of 30% by 2020 contained in the Commission Communication  is non-binding and too low, considering the seriousness of the problem, and would not drive the measures necessary to end the flow of waste into the sea.

Emma Priestland, Marine Litter Policy Officer at Seas At Risk said ‘A 50% reduction target will help drive the message home that waste is to be prevented, and treated as a valuable resource instead of being carelessly discarded and ending up in the oceans. Today the Parliament has sent a positive signal to the European Commission that MEPs support the Circular Economy and ambitious measures to tackle marine litter. We hope that they will sit up and listen.’

The only piece of EU legislation that currently deals with marine litter is the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, but implementation to date has been weak. Member states are failing to deal with the primary source of marine litter – our over-consumption and careless use of resources. The Circular Economy concept aims to address that, replacing resource extraction and subsequent dumping with greater reclamation, reuse, reparability and recycling. It provides a win for the oceans as well as a better model from growth and jobs in the future.

The revised, ‘more ambitious’ Circular Economy Package, including the legislative review of recycling targets is expected at the end of this year. Seas At Risk hopes that it will contain the necessary measures to drive the transition to a zero-waste society and an end to marine litter.  

For further information contact:

Emma Priestland, Marine Litter Policy Officer, 0032 2 893 0967, epriestland[at]

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