Plastic-free, Healthy Mediterranean Sea
Environment, Sustainable Development and Circular Economy
10 Focal points (institutions) of the BlueMed Pilot National Hubs, 200 Members of the network : Stakeholders’ Group composed by Legambiente, Marevivo, Plastics Europe, Surfrider, Seaatrisk, Panacea, Plastic Buster, Federpesca, Climate KIC, SEMED, e-Circular, Assobioplastiche, WWF, etc
The Pilot Initiative aims at mobilising key actors to tackle plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Region. This consists in jointly identifying priorities for actions and engaging in a partnership for implementation, in order to increase capacity to monitor the pathways of plastic litter, to understand how microplastic interfere with ecosystems and food chains, to prevent plastics to enter the sea and to collect plastics from sea and reuse it, to develop new materials replacing plastics and to recycle it.
Healthy Plastic-free Mediterranean Sea, is an integral part of many different Initiatives in this area in the MED (the initiative is also facilitated by the European Commission -DG Research&Innovation, MARE and NEAR – and the UfM), it connects and leverages them through a three steps process :
- Assess the problem and enlarge the capacity to implement solutions by structuring the connections among the BLUEMED Pilot hubs, i.e. national stakeholders nodes. Thematic areas: prevention through citizens’ engagement activities, plastic monitoring and assessment/removal/valorisation of litter into energy or products/new product design/material innovation (biodegradable)/identify partnerships;
- Co-design and deliver a Vision Paper for Mediterranean Plastic Pollution & Circular Economy with key priority areas for interventions;
- Incubate and implement solutions through the Healthy Plastic-free Mediterranean Sea Open Access Competition that will finance and support multipurpose knowledge and facilitator infrastructures – private stakeholders, research bodies or institutions – in line with the identified priority areas.
The “Healthy Plastic-free Mediterranean Sea” initiative will promote sustainable and environmental sound solutions and practices to prevent and remediate the problem of plastic litter not only by facilitating the development of concrete innovative actions but also by increasing awareness in a knowledge-harmonized environment at multi-stakeholder and citizens level, overcoming existing geographical barriers.
Fill knowledge gaps by an overall assessment at Mediterranean scale capitalizing on the BLUEMED Pilot National Hubs :
- Identify key priorities for actions in the MED area by constantly increasing the number of identified ongoing initiatives and including them into the national hub as well as the SEMED Platform
- Develop operational and legal models to encourage joint actions and collaboration
- Implement solutions in line with the identified priorities via open access-call for proposals; including for upscaling of existing research results along a whole value chain
- Inform policies and set global strategies
- Engage citizens through citizen-science and outreach initiatives and promote ocean literacy.
This pilot will serve as a model on how similar activities can be carried out in other sea basins, notably the Black Sea.
Countries involved : Italy, Greece, Spain, France, Malta, Turkey, Morocco, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia