Marine litter prevention and mitigation actions lie at the heart of the Interreg Med Plastic Busters MPAs project. Working for and from the perspective of an MPA manager, Plastic Busters MPAs seeks to offer concrete solutions to prevent and mitigate the impacts of marine litter by showcasing marine litter measures in 10 Mediterranean MPAs.
MIO-ECSDE, who is leading the studying and testing activities of the project with regard to marine litter measures, has recently launched 3 demos; two of them taking place at the Strunjan Landscape Park (Slovenia) and one taking place at the Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas (Greece). The measures to be showcased are:
- “SUPs-free beach bars” to be piloted at the Strunjan Landscape Park (Slovenia), by the Public Institute Strunjan Landscape Park (Lead) in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, and the Zavod TRI NITI. Read more here
- “Adopt-a-beach” to be piloted at the Strunjan Landscape Park (Slovenia), by the Public Institute Strunjan Landscape Park in collaboration with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia, and the Zavod TRI NITI. Read more here
- “Establishing a derelict fishing gear management scheme and promoting co-responsibility to tackle fisheries & aquaculture-related litter” to be piloted at the Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas (Greece), by the Organization for the Preservation of the Aquatic Ecosystems (Lead) in collaboration with the Management Authority of Thermaikos Gulf Protected Areas, and BlueCycle. Read more here
Both protected areas were involved in the Interreg Med ACT4LITTER project and under the guidance of MIO-ECSDE developed MPA-specific marine litter action plans. The action plans were built step-by-step, engaging all stakeholders with the aim to reflect the MPA-specific context and characteristics and define the priority measures towards effectively preventing and mitigating the issue. Now, through the Plastic Busters MPAs project, these protected areas have the unique chance to operationalise some of the priority measures shortlisted in their action plans.
“We are thrilled that we will get to pilot the ACT4LITTER shortlisted measures within the framework of the Plastic Busters MPAs project and provide a blueprint to all Mediterranean MPAs for a joint urgent response to the lurking marine litter threat. This is the end result of effective capitalization mechanisms that have been embedded since the design phase of our project, allowing us to demonstrate how we can move from knowledge to concrete in-the-field actions and thus address the whole management cycle of marine litter, from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation”, says Thomais Vlachogianni, MIO-ECSDE Programme Officer, who is leading the measures-related studying and testing activities of Plastic Busters MPAs.
To date, 5 more demos are underway within the framework of Plastic Busters MPAs:
- “SUPs-free beach bars” to be piloted at the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (Greece).
- “Cigarette-butt free beaches” to be piloted at the National Marine Park of Zakynthos (Greece).
- “Developing a network of collection points for beverage containers made of PET, aluminium and glass” to be piloted at the Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park-UNESCO Global Geopark (Spain).
- “Setting up a reusable cup distribution system for beach bars and festivals” to be piloted at the Natural Park of Ebro Delta (Spain).
- “Promoting the sustainable management of polystyrene fish boxes” to be piloted at the Miramare MPA (Italy).
In the next coming weeks, the demo actions for the other 4 Plastic Busters Partner MPAs – the Tuscan Archipelago National Park (Italy), the Pelagos Sanctuary (Italy), the Cabrera National Park (Spain), the National Park of Brijuni (Croatia)– will also be defined, considering the preliminary results of the monitoring and assessment activities of the project. The collective experience of the demos will be captured in a set of comprehensive guidelines to support replication actions.
Read this article in French here