Under Sea Cleaning Actions Spark National Campaign Against Waste Disposal in Adriatic

Lauren Simmonds

As is commonplace, pre-season under water sea cleanups have been underway along the coast. This time, the environmentally oriented actions have sparked a national campaign…

As Glas Grada reported on the 3rd of June, 2017, Davor Skrlec, MEP, has officially launched a national campaign against waste disposal in the Adriatic sea with the environmental action of cleaning under the sea on the beaches of Lubinski Porat and Bunker.

The campaign will be conducted in various locations along the Croatian coast during June and July and will end on the 18th of July, 2017, with an international conference in the Dalmatian capital of Split. The problem of waste being dumped in the sea is a global one and appears to be one of the fastest growing economic and environmental threats, resulting in potentially catastrophic consequences. As much as 80% of marine waste comes from the mainland, and the cost of just cleaning beaches at the EU level is about 630 million euros a year, by no means loose change.

The objective of this campaign is primarily to raise general public awareness of the problem of problematic and harmful waste in the Adriatic sea, as well as the need to establish an efficient and sustainable model of proper cleaning the seawater in the Republic of Croatia.

“Through this campaign, we strive to encourage local and national engagement on the problems surrounding waste in the Adriatic, and to alert each individual to their contribution when it comes reducing waste in the sea and on the beaches. In addition to the sea-cleaning action, through this key summer season, we want to reach more people and tourists, so the most important campaign messages will be featured on billboards and posters in the larger cities along the coast, ports and on the busiest ferry lines to the islands. We have been working with a number of NGOs throughout Croatia which are engaged in sustainable development. We will conclude the campaign with an international conference entitled ”Waste in the Sea – Challenges and Solutions” which will gather a number of experts from Croatia and Europe on the 18th of July in Split, with the aim of finding solutions to all the challenges that waste in the sea brings. Unfortunately, Croatia does not have a model for the monitoring and disposal of marine waste, which is quite worrying if we take into account that the sea is an integral part of the long Croatian traditions” stated Skrlec.

Waste in the sea is a very large, very complex problem and needs to be addressed on multiple levels, keeping in mind that prevention is the best solution to the problem. Skrlec believes that the concept of a circular economy, which emphasises the importance of preventing waste is the most efficient way to address the problem at its very root. This also underlines the new Action Plan for the Circular Economy in which the elimination of plastic waste is considered to be of paramount importance.

“It is a worrying fact that as much as 80% of the total waste in the Mediterranean is made up of microplastics which are generated by the decomposition of waste and thus comes into the food chain. Disposable bags represent a major problem for the marine environment, for sea animals and the overall ecosystem. By the end of this year, the European Commission intends to adopt a Strategy on Plastic, which will directly contribute to the reduction of waste in the sea and on the beaches.


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