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Plastics and the oceans: A threat to our marine environment


23 Jun 2010


Climate & Environment

ALDE held a seminar today examining the growing problem of plastic waste discards in the marine environment.

"With an ever increasing production and consumption of plastic, it is becoming clear that we cannot afford to ignore the problem of how to dispose of it in a sustainable way that does not endanger our natural environment for the benefit of future generations," said Antonyia Parvanova (NMSP, Bulgaria). "We believe that under the forthcoming Directive on Marine policy we can do more to address this man-made issue. The treatment of waste is not adequately taken into account on a national level. "

Chris Davies (UK, LibDem), ALDE coordinator on the EP environment committee said:

"Our seas are being turned into a soup of plastic waste and it is growing thicker with every passing day. This issue must now be addressed before we can walk all the way from Europe to America ! "

"When we speak about the volumes of wastes in our seas we think mainly about toxics, chemical products and oil spills but less about the plastics. But plastics are becoming a major problem. The sea is not a waste bin but the source of human nourishment and economic development." said Corinne Lepage (CAP21, France), chair of the EP Intergroup for Seas and Coastal Areas.

"This is an important issue which can only be tackled from a global perspective as our seas respect no national boundaries. The EU should be at the forefront of finding a solution." said Gerben-Jan Gerbrandy (D66, Netherlands).

For more information on the seminar see:

For more information, please contact:

Neil Corlett: +32-2-284 20 77 or +32-478-78 22 84


Norbert Halko: +32-2-284 2602 or +32-484-75.17.22