The fight against marine litter

Project description

Title: Global sector project to support BMUV in implementing the ‘Marine Debris Framework - Regional hubs around the globe’ funding programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)
Country: Global
Lead executing agency: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV)
Overall term: 2020 to 2023

Context

Few other global threats to our oceans are as visible today as their contamination with plastic waste. As we often see in the media, the increasing pollution of the oceans has reached alarming levels. Large rivers are a substantial factor in this, particularly in Asia and Africa, as they transport macro- and microplastics from the land down to the seas. Inadequate waste management systems in coastal areas also contribute to plastic waste pollution.

Various interest groups from the world of politics, the private sector and civil society believe that it will take a paradigm shift to successfully tackle the issue of marine litter. Current strategies are predominately targeted at limiting further pollution as effectively as possible by introducing waste avoidance and reduction measures. As well as bans and voluntary approaches, such as reducing the use of single-use plastics, discussions are also ongoing to determine how manufacturers, retailers and other parties involved can be held accountable. Another important factor in changing society’s behaviours with regard to waste separation and avoiding waste generation is raising awareness.

With its ‘Marine Debris Framework – Regional hubs around the globe’ (Marine:DeFRAG) funding programme, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) is doing its part to resolve this global challenge. Its top priority is to reduce the volume of waste being generated at source so that plastic waste does not enter the oceans in the first place. This involves medium-term measures to reduce the volume of plastic waste by incentivising responsible conduct, as well as short-term measures such as creating and promoting effective waste and recycling management systems.

Objective

Selected developing countries and emerging economies receive support in implementing effective measures to tackle marine litter.

Approach

The project aims to provide needs-based advice to BMUV, taking into account the national and international discourse surrounding the fight against marine litter. The project uses targeted strategies and approaches to encourage the sharing of experience at an international level. It also advises partners in developing countries and emerging economies and supports the implementation of specific measures. The project’s activities can be divided into three main areas:

1. Technical and conceptual work for BMUV

The project undertakes conceptual work to formulate effective measures to tackle marine litter in selected developing countries and emerging economies and therefore contributes to their implementation:

  • It works with selected partner countries to identify measures that can be used to avoid and reduce marine litter.
  • It prepares information and knowledge for BMUV.

2. Improving the international sharing of experience

The project is pro-active in bringing problem-solving approaches and documented experiences, for example from Germany, into the international discourse on the fight against marine litter:

  • It prepares talks and workshops on key topics for developing countries and emerging economies. These cover areas such as extending manufacturer liability and possible approaches to the circular economy.
  • It makes studies, analyses and results from pilot projects available to a wide range of experts in developing countries and emerging economies.

3. Initiating initial measures in selected partner countries

The project supports selected partner countries in developing their approaches and implementing initial measures to tackle marine litter:

  • It holds informational, awareness-generating and scenario workshops with key actors in selected developing countries and emerging economies.
  • It advises selected partner countries on topics such as reusable systems and how single-use plastics can be reduced. It will initiate five small-scale projects in partner countries.

Last update: January 2021

Additional information