Plastic Busters Cap took part at United Nations Climate Change Conference ‘COP28’ in Dubai

Plastic Busters Cap project took part at the United Nations Climate Change Conference ‘COP28’  in Dubai, United Arab Emirates with a side event “The Mediterranean leading the way for a cleaner sea: our biggest ally in the fight against climate change”organized on 5 December at Mediterranean Coalition Office – Blue Zone.

It was the opportunity for the Project to feature the successful examples applied the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) principles to the challenge of marine litter, by addressing the entire management cycle of marine litter – from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation. The ultimate goal of such examples is to facilitate the efforts of decision makers and stakeholders in effectively dealing with marine litter towards good environmental status in the Mediterranean.

Due to the diverse human pressures, the Mediterranean Sea considered as the most intensely affected marine areas in the world. Marine litter (particularly plastics, with an estimated 230,000 tons of land-sourced plastic leaking into the sea per year) is quickly becoming one of the main pollution sources of the Mediterranean Sea, with negative consequences for living marine organisms, marine ecosystems, human health and coastal activities, including tourism and fisheries. Moreover, COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the situation as the use of single-use plastics (SUP) such as gloves and masks has increased, threatening to stall and even reverse the progress achieved with regard to SUP which account for up to 50% of beach litter. Therefore, its effective management requires relevant instrument of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) that should be embedded into local development planning.

Discussions provided an overview of scalable and replicable solutions at technical, regulatory and cultural level to promote a healthier Mediterranean with marine and coastal ecosystems that are productive and biologically diverse for the benefit of present and future generations.

The event was organized by Interreg NEXT MED Programme to share some of the most remarkable and replicable results of its funded projects in fields where the Mediterranean leads the way like energy efficiency, circular economy, adaptation to climate change, the fight against marine litter or the role played by SMEs and the youth in climate action.