On 5th March, the European Policy Centre, together with the Mission of Norway to the European Union, hosted the Policy Dialogue Plastics and Oceans: How can Europe end further discharge into the oceans? Seas At Risk’s Marine Litter Policy Officer, Emma Priestland, was in attendance, to share the message that ocean plastics are not an impossible problem to solve, provided immediate action is taken. Several solutions are already available to make this happen.

Moves to close a loophole in enforcement of the cap on high-sulphur marine fuel, which comes into effect in January 2020, have been welcomed by the Clean Shipping Coalition (CSC), of which Seas At Risk is member. Ships will be banned at that time from burning any marine fuel with a sulphur content above 0.5%, but the ban does not prevent ships from carrying fuel exceeding the 0.5% limit. This opens up the possibility of massive avoidance by unscrupulous operators when operating out of sight on the high seas.

A recent debate at the European Parliament saw the European Commission and Azorean government representatives question the need for deep-sea mining. Both sides advocated a precautionary approach and stated that critical raw materials would be more effectively addressed through the circular economy.