The SCP/RAC regional centre is conducting a marine waste prevention project in collaboration with a large number of partners in the Mediterranean basin. Cooperation and action for a cleaner Mediterranean are the strong points of ACT4LITTER.
The can floats around in the waves and comes ashore on the beach. It joins a plastic bag, a piece of polystyrene and many other objects which are occupying a place that shouldn't be theirs. Marine litter is a reality and a true threat to all marine ecosystems and biodiversity. It is a genuine scourge and harms many marine species and their habitats.
Such waste (plastics, metal, iron, etc.) often has a long degradation process and a high environmental impact. It is therefore present over time and its degradation releases toxic substances, particularly endocrine disruptors, which are then ingested by the marine fauna and eventually end up on our plates.
Faced with this massive threat, the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) of the Mediterranean admit to being unprepared and poorly supported with regard to actions and effective responses to be implemented at their level. In view of this lack of information, knowledge and skills, a European project has been created: ACT4LITTER.
ACT4LITTER's main goal is to help protect biodiversity and marine ecosystems. It seeks to strengthen relations between the Mediterranean MPAs for better collaboration and to identify concrete, feasible measures to protect themselves against marine waste. The MPAs which join forces will benefit from improved waste management and better coordination in terms of the implementation of future projects.
ACT4LITTER has therefore been promoted to meet these needs and will be implemented by 5 partners, distributed among several countries in the Mediterranean basin: SCP/RAC (Spain), IAT (Spain), SSSUP (Italy), MedPAN (France), MIO-ECSDE (Greece) and 22 other associate partners.SCP/RAC is the project leader and will ensure its proper coordination, but it will also be responsible for preparing the initial list of 125 measures to be studied. This will involve identifying the measures and selecting those which can be put in place by the MPAs. The ultimate goal is to develop exclusive action plans for 10 MPAs. The priority of these action plans will focus on sustainable consumption and production. This will allow each of them to rethink its patterns of consumption and production and to prevent and reduce the accumulation of waste. The same applies to the circular economy, which will be favoured by the measures taken and will aim to reduce the amount of waste by reusing or recycling each material. The joint work with the MPA stakeholders and experts will enable these action plans to be complemented by a governance plan, which will work effectively at a transnational level.
ACT4LITTER, which will be conducted over an 18-month period (from February 2017 to July 2018), is a project 85% co-financed by the INTERREG Med Programme (co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund).