Call for Swedish leadership on litter
Gothenburg, 23rd May 2012. Speaking at the annual European Maritime Day event in Gothenburg, Seas At Risk has called on Sweden to take a lead on the MSFD and set a 50% marine litter reduction target for 2020.
Seas At Risk’s Chris Carroll made the call for action during a session that explored the need to reduce marine litter for environmental and economic reasons.
During the panel discussion and debate, the Swedish Secretary of State to the Ministry of Environment Mr. Anders Flanking, spoke about the unique problem posed by marine litter to Sweden in that as much as 80% of the floating plastic debris accumulated on Sweden’s West coast comes from other countries due to sea currents.
However, Mr. Flanking would not let on as to Sweden’s plan to set out reduction targets as required under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) that requires member states to reduce marine litter.
Member States now have until July 15 to set their targets in a coordinated manner, ensuring that targets in each region allow for all states to achieve Good Environmental Status in their own waters. For Sweden, the need for other Northern European countries commit to ambitious targets is essential, if not more important than just an ambitious Swedish target because of the West Coast dilemma.
Seas At Risk and a host of other NGOs have been calling for a 50% reduction target across European waters as laid out in their advice document for the ongoing public consultations taking place across Europe on the MSFD.
The event was coordinated by the Horizon 2020 Capacity Building Programme in association with Seas At Risk and also included presentations made by Professor Scoullos of the University of Athens, Bo Svärd of the Attractive Coast Project and Bernard Merckx of the European Plastic’s Converters project Waste Free Oceans. The event was kindly supported by the Region Västra Götaland.
To view Seas At Risk’s presentation:
For more information on the NGO advice document:
To read the Commission’s summary of the event: