In the fight against plastic pollution, new European legislation aims to reduce consumption of the top 10 most polluting single-use plastic products, as well as fishing gear containing plastic. Member States now have two years to implement this legislation at a minimum, or even a more ambitious national version. As of 2021, single-use plastic products that have sustainable alternatives will be banned from the EU market, such as plastic cutlery, plates, expanded polystyrene food containers and cotton buds.

Today, the Council of the European Union adopted legislation to regulate the use of single-use plastic with the objective to limit plastic marine pollution. As of 2021, single-use plastic cutlery, plates, straws, stirrers, cotton buds, balloon sticks and expanded polystyrene food containers and cups will be banned in the EU.

Three years after Paris and over a year after agreeing a 2050 decarbonisation objective, European campaign groups Seas At Risk and Transport & Environment, leading members of the Clean Shipping Coalition, are appalled at the complete lack of ambition shown by the IMO this week.

Our planet is facing not only climate breakdown but an ecological collapse. Our lifestyles see us overexploit our limited natural resources and ignore the collateral damage to the natural world on which our entire existence depends.  

The sea is home to a significant proportion of Earth’s biodiversity, yet it is also the location of numerous human activities. This puts unprecedented and unsustainable pressure on the marine environment, dramatically impacting marine biodiversity and ocean resilience. As the world’s biggest maritime territory and with almost half of its population living by the sea, the EU is compelled to set rules to protect marine biodiversity and regulate the activities that take place at sea or which impact the sea.

As IMO meets this week in London, groups issue call to reevaluate scrubbers as alternative compliance tool for 2020 fuel standards, citing evidence in US federal case against Carnival Corporation

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) need better protection. Luckily, we have a strong team to do just that. Seas At Risk, together with France Nature Environnement in France, Sciaena in Portugal and Coastwatch & Irish Wildlife Trust in Ireland, are on a mission to make MPAs work in Europe. Every MPA needs to be more than a square on a map. Every MPA needs to be truly protected and managed.

An important new independent study, “Impact of slow steaming for different types of ships carrying bulk cargo”, commissioned jointly by Seas At Risk and Transport and Environment, has been published and clearly demonstrates the economic viability of reducing ship speeds to cut shipping GHG emissions.

The EU Directive on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP Directive) was adopted in 2014. It is the world’s largest process of maritime spatial planning, with 21 countries due to submit their maritime spatial plans to the European Commission by 2021. Although some Member States have undertaken maritime spatial planning for several years now, most are developing such plans for the first time.

This year’s International Day of Biological Diversity on May 22 is a timely reminder of the fragility of nature. The seventh Global Assessment Report, published on 6 May by the UN Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, clearly shows that the world is on track for the largest biodiversity extinction wave ever recorded in human history. Up to 1,000,000 species are threatened with extinction, with plant and animal species becoming extinct at one thousand times the rate before humans existed. The causes of this extinction are undoubtedly human: our way of life is killing Earth’s biodiversity.

Share This

Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required