The next EU legislative period will start in July 2019, from which time the European Parliament will no longer use single-use plastic bottles at its facilities and meetings. On 11 June, the Bureau of the Parliament agreed to include new conditions in its upcoming canteen and catering contract, disallowing the delivery of plastic bottles to Parliament facilities. Instead, the number of drinking water fountains will be extended to facilitate the use of reusable bottles at Parliament facilities.

On Saturday 23 June 2018, a collision between a tanker and the jetty in the Port of Rotterdam - Europe’s biggest seaport, resulted in a heavy fuel oil (HFO) spill. Despite the immediate mitigation actions taken by the crew of the vessel and resources on-shore, 217 tonnes of HFO are estimated to have spilled from the fuel tank. 

The European Parliament has, for the first time, rejected a draft delegated act of the European Commission. The proposed legislation would have enacted the inadequate measures put forward by Belgium to protect its marine ecosystems. In rejecting the draft, the European Parliament sent a strong signal to Member States and the Commission that European nature protection laws must be taken seriously.

President Tajani’s response to NGOs’ challenge to ban single-use plastics from the European Parliament is disappointing, and serves to highlight that the Parliament could do considerably more to reduce waste generation. The imminent renewal of its catering contract, however, presents an ideal opportunity to implement real change.

The European Parliament recently approved new legislation on the management of fisheries in the North Sea. The multi-annual plan (MAP) is the second such programme, after the earlier Baltic plan. Both bills undermine the objectives of the Common Fisheries Policy, a central tenet of which is to end overfishing.

In an unprecedented move to tackle marine litter, the European Commission launched the long-awaited proposal for legislation to reduce the flow of single use plastics and fishing gear into the seas. The initiative focuses on the 10 most commonly found single use plastics and fishing gear, which together represent around 70% of marine litter found on Europe’s beaches.

The Common Fisheries Policy legal deadline to bring fishing limits within sustainable levels and end the wasteful practice of discarding unwanted catch is rapidly approaching. Seas At Risk, together with its members and other NGOs, call on European and national policy makers to meet the key objectives and commitments of the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Clean Arctic Alliance today applauded progress by International Maritime Organization member states towards banning use of the world’s dirtiest fuel - heavy fuel oil - from Arctic shipping, and called for Member States to make every effort to adopt and rapidly implement a ban by 2021, as proposed by eight IMO Member States and supported by other countries during the meeting.

Today’s commitment by governments to require international shipping to decarbonise and at least halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is a welcome and potentially game changing development, the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC) has said. But the lack of any clear plan of action to deliver the emissions reductions, including urgently needed short-term measures, is a major concern, according to the group of NGOs[1] with observer status at the UN’s International Maritime Organisation (IMO).

 

Seas At Risk, together with its NGO partners in the Rethink Plastic Alliance, has sent an open letter to the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, challenging the Parliament to move from rhetoric to practice and stop its use of enormous quantities of plastic water bottles.

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