26 October 2017

The study "Single use plastic and the marine environment" includes:

Estimations using limited available data on the quantities of certain single use plastic items used in Europe and nationally. Items investigated include bottles, take away packaging, cigarette butts, plastic straws and coffee cups.  A looks at how legislation can reduce these plastics, how it's ready to go and already enjoys wide public support. Reducing these items could dramatically reduce the amount of plastic pollution in European seas and beaches.  Case studies of plastic reducing pioneers: towns that have already taken action and the benefits they have found.

Please find the full background document here

The summary report below with main findings here below: 


29 September 2017

In response to the letter sent by Seas At Risk and 6 other NGOs calling on the EU institutions to give up their addiction to single use plastics, the Commission and the Council both claim they are working towards greener public procurement. The Parliament has to date provided no response to the letter sent on 31st March, raising questions on their commitment to the Circular Economy.

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10 July 2017

Rethink Plastic has sent an open letter to the European Commission calling on them to propose strong and harmonised EU legislation within the EU Strategy on Plastics – due to be published at the end of 2017. We call for concrete policy action on reducing, redesigning and better managing plastics, and challenge the Commission to think broader and bolder, including trying to live plastic free for a day. #RethinkPlastic!

More information: 


27 June 2017

At a conference of the European Network of the Heads of Environment Protection Agencies (EPA),  Seas At Risk presented a plea for Europe to take a strong stand against plastic pollution in the upcoming Plastic Strategy.

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21 June 2017

Marine Litter was at the forefront of discussions at the UN Ocean Conference that ran from the 5th to the 9th June at the UN headquarters in New York.  Seas At Risk addressed solutions to the global threat, by co-hosting a side event and submitting a commitment on single use plastics.

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13 April 2017

Seven European environmental NGOs are challenging the European Council, Parliament and Commission to practice what they preach and implement greener public procurement in their own buildings by phasing out single use plastics.

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31 March 2017

Seas At Risk and six other NGOs, all part of the international Break Free From Plastic movement, have sent a letter to the heads of the three main European institutions calling on them to commit to making their buildings single use plastic free.

09 February 2017

Member states have put in place over 200 marine monitoring programmes across the EU to measure the quality of the marine environment and to evaluate the effectiveness of the policy measures that they are taking to improve it. However, an evaluation by the European Commission shows that those data collection efforts fail to cover some key problems, such as marine litter and noise pollution.

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27 January 2017

This week, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee voted on a set of amendments to waste legislation that is being revised to bring about a circular economy in Europe. Overall the amendments strengthened the initial Commission proposals.

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26 January 2017

The European Commission’s newly released Roadmap for the EU Strategy on Plastics in a Circular Economy fails to get to the root of the problem of plastics, according to the #BreakFreeFromPlastic Movement.

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14 December 2016

The answer is provided by two parallel studies carried out by Legambiente, Seas At Risk Member. The analysis of the types of plastic sampled during the 2016 summer campaigns looked at the types of waste collected, their chemical characterisation and possible solutions for stopping the leakage.

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14 September 2016

Brussels - Over the summer, 100 NGOs from across the world came together to strategise how to tackle the ever growing plastic pollution problem. Today the vision they created is launched, and we ask the European union to rise to the challenge to break free from plastic.

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01 July 2016

Brussels – It’s been a very tempestuous week of political fallout since the UK voted by 52% to leave the European Union in a public vote. Seas At Risk is determined to continue working with its members inside and outside the UK for a healthy marine environment.

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15 June 2016

Brussels: SAR held a members workshop on specific EU policy areas related to marine litter back-to-back with our Annual General Meeting.

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08 June 2016

8 June is the United Nations day for World Oceans. The theme for this year’s celebration is ‘healthy oceans, healthy planet’, yet developments during 2016 have shown just how much more needs to be done to preserve our seas from the effects of human activity. 

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23 May 2016

The Circular Economy Package has the potential to address our unsustainable production, consumption, and poor waste management and reduce marine litter. By reducing the production of waste, reducing consumption of single-use plastics, designing products to be repaired, durable, reused and if not, recycled into new products, and putting a consumer value on plastics through economic instruments they are less likely to be carelessly disposed of and end up in the oceans. This short briefing paper discusses the reasons why the Circular Economy Package is so vital for reducing marine litter, and lays out some essential elements that should be included in the legislative files.

05 May 2016

It’s springtime, and with the improving weather comes the annual beach cleaning season! Seas At Risk member organisations across Europe have activated their own membership and organised their annual beach cleans.

This year was a particularly busy one, with a third of SAR members organising some activity based around getting citizens to play a role in cleaning up their marine environment. The events are not just aimed at improving the visual and ecological environment of the beaches that are targeted – many of the organisation also collect data on the waste they collect, to better inform policy makers when they try to tackle them at source. They also seek to increase the awareness of the general public to the damage we do to the marine environment through careless and excess use of resources, particularly single use plastics.

In Denmark, the Danish Society for Nature Conservation has set a new record for participants in their annual waste collection, with over 123,000 students participating in their coastal collections in April. They collected a record amount of waste, half of which was plastic. In France, the Surfrider Foundation has released the results of its five year study (French) of marine litter waste found in beach clean-ups there. An overwhelming 80% of waste identified contained plastic of some sort. Their Ocean Initiatives programme aims to help citizens get involved in the fight. Greece saw two SAR members active, with the Mediterranean SOS Network assembling over 200 supporters, including world swimming champion Spyros Giannioti, to clean up the beaches of the port town of Piraeus. Meanwhile, Archipelagos have been cleaning up waste and sunken boats that have accumulated as a result of the refugee crisis off Greece’s coast. The Netherlands are looking to the future, as the North Sea Foundation has set the date of their clean-up for early August, when they hope to collect over 1.2 million plastic waste items. They profiled a report from their new project leader, Marijke Boonstra, who has been conducting her first beach survey. She located about 270 items over a mere 100 metres. The Wadden Sea Association were emphasising the fun at their annual event, with their clean up in April designed to clear the beach areas for the birds nesting there. Norway’s Naturvernforbundet followed on from their 7 May event with tips and advice on how to limit one’s own waste impact. In Spain, Retorna brought their focus on deposit return schemes to the clean-up cause. After participating in the Valencian beach clean with Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and others, they estimated that 75% of the waste located was plastic bottles and drinks cans. For the UK, two SAR members have been working away for cleaner beaches. The Marine Conservation Society have had their most successful ‘Great British Beach Clean’ yet, with over 6035 volunteering for it, the most ever in their 22 year history. Surfers Against Sewage delivered another record breaker, with 231 beaches across the UK cleaned in mid-April, with 8000 volunteers finding all sorts of debris, including a set of false teeth! They are also profiling their ‘Mini Beach Clean’ idea, to allow individuals to play a role in the fight against marine litter at any time in the year. Internationally, our partners in Project Aware took a slightly alternative option, marking this year’s Earth Day (22 April) with their Dive Against Debris programme, which involves divers cleaning up the actual sea floor and ocean itself from some of the worst items of marine litter.
02 December 2015

Brussels – today the European Commission adopted a new Circular Economy package, including a commitment to continue to work on the EU headline marine litter reduction target, and to develop a strategy on plastics in the Circular Economy.

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12 November 2015

A joint letter sent by Seas At Risk, Friends of the Earth Europe and the European Environment Bureau calling for the Commission to ensure that a headline target for reducing marine litter be included in the revised Circular Economy Action Plan.