NGOs call on EU states to tighten marine litter targets

Berlin, 10th April 2013. Civil society organisations from across the EU are today calling on EU Member States to up their level of ambition and tighten marine litter reduction targets with the aim of ending the marine litter problem within a generation.

The call is being made by Dr Monica Verbeek, Executive Director at Seas At Risk, at the International Conference on Prevention and Management of Marine Litter in European Seas that starts today in Berlin and continues to the 12th April.

EU Member States are required by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive to set targets for reducing marine litter, but most countries targets lack ambition, and only a few countries have proposed quantifiable and measurable reduction targets.

„The weak targets that most countries have set will undermine the fight against marine litter and the efforts of those countries that are truly committed to cleaning up our seas. Strong leadership is required and a cut of at least 50% in marine litter by 2020” said Dr Verbeek.

On Friday 12th April, NGOs will hand a ‘Marine Litter Manifesto for the European Seas’ to European Commissioner Janez Potočnik and the German and Irish Ministers of Environment. In addition to supporting a 50% marine litter reduction target, EU Ministers are being asked to support a range of measures and initiatives that would regulate and help prevent litter reaching the sea from ships and land-based sources.

The Marine Litter Manifesto is supported by 18 civil society organisations from across Europe.

Marine Litter Manifesto for the European Seas: