Tiny pieces of plastic, now ubiquitous in the marine environment, have long been a cause of concern for their ability to absorb toxic substances and potentially penetrate the food chain. Now scientists are beginning to understand the level of threat posed to life, by gauging the extent of marine accumulation and tracking the movement of these contaminants.
“The European Commission needs to adopt a strong industrial and manufacturing policy based on reciprocity, otherwise our European maritime technology industry won’t survive competition from Asian shipyards,” warned Marian Krzaklewski, rapporteur of the EESC opinion on the LeaderSHIP strategy, adopted at its plenary session on 19 April
Air polluting sulphur oxides (SOx) have substantially fallen over the past years, bringing health benefits to people in coastal regions and ports. This is the result of joint efforts by Member States and the maritime industry in implementing new EU new rules on cleaner shipping fuels.
Following the agreement reached at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on an initial strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international shipping, Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc and Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete issued the following statement.
There will be a consideration of the draft opinion on the Plastics Strategy.
About 400 kg per square kilometre: this, according to estimates, is the amount of mostly plastic waste littering European seas. Some of it can be upcycled into high-quality clothing, claimed a Spanish SME, which carried out an EU-funded feasibility study to work out the details. And indeed, such garments are now available in its shops.
Amendments to the report tabled for plenary are available.
Millions of tonnes of plastic waste enter the world’s oceans each year, posing a threat to marine ecosystems and contaminating the food chain with toxic compounds. EU-funded researchers are deploying cutting-edge technologies to prevent and mitigate this growing environmental hazard.