Tuesday, 28 May 2019 14:58

"The ban on single-use plastics comes just in time for the revision of the EUSBSR"

Written by  Let's communicate!

The European Council adopted a ban on single-use plastics on 21 May 2019. The directive introduces new restrictions on certain single-use plastic products such as plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks and cotton buds that will be banned by 2021. What does the ban mean for the EUSBSR?

"It is a unique opportunity to lift macroregional challenges of plastic waste and litter into the policy work within the framework of the EUSBSR"

The European Union is becoming more and more aware of the scope of the plastic waste and the harm it causes when not recycled properly. Steps towards a more sustainable and circular Europe have been started to take, for example, in the form of plastic strategy, and now with the ban on single-use plastics.

However, inside the EU, there is one region where actions against plastic waste, particularly marine litter, have already been taken in an exemplary manner, namely the Baltic Sea region. Some may recall that the recent report by the European Commission described the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region as a forerunner for fighting against marine litter, and the actions taken in the region could serve as a model for the whole EU.

The EUSBSR Communication Point had a chance to interview Policy Area Hazards Coordinators Maxi Nachtigall and Clarisse Kehler Siebert about the topic and what the ban on single-use plastics means for the Strategy.

 

What kind of actions have already been taken in the EUSBSR to tackle marine litter?

The Baltic Sea Region has been a front runner in soft cooperation for fighting plastics litter and waste. Through transnational project cooperation pathways of littering were mapped, sources of plastics and plastic waste have been identified (i.e. project BLASTIC and Marelitt Baltic) as well as hazardous substances released from amongst others plastic articles used in every day live tracked (NonHazCity project). Recently the INTERREG Baltic Sea Region project FanpLESStic-sea has been approved and will provide tools to municipalities, national policy makers, and water utilities to better understand local pathways of microplastics, pilot removal technologies and define innovative governance frameworks to reduce microplastics. Also the Baltic Sea Water Platform looks into solutions to prevent micro-plastics from i.e. storm water into the Baltic Sea environment. In many of these activities have close ties to actions under Helcom.

 

What does the ban on single-use plastics mean for the EUSBSR?

The ban on single used plastics gives us the framework to put in place regulative measures in fighting pollution and plastic waste coming from the land to the sea, ensuring that the Baltic Sea Region will be even cleaner in the future. The ban on single use plastics comes just in time for the revision of the EUSBSR. It is a unique opportunity to lift macroregional challenges of plastic waste and litter into the policy work within the framework of the EU strategy of the Baltic Sea Region, an area that has not been explicitly taken care of by any policy area, yet.

 

 

Read 625 times Last modified on Wednesday, 29 May 2019 09:42

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