On 6 December, Minister for Environment Joke Schauvliege presented the Flemish integral action plan on marine litter at the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA) in Nairobi. Flanders is regarded as a worldwide leader in waste and materials management. Flanders can be also a pioneer in the battle against marine litter and ocean pollution.
Plastic pollution and other litter continues to pour into our waterways, seas and oceans. About 8 million tons of plastics leak into the oceans each year. Research estimates that the oceans will contain 125 million tons of plastic by 2025 and by 2050, the plastics in the oceans will weigh more than all the fish in the sea.
In her speech Minister Schauvliege highlighted the importance of a necessary mindset: “We can help raise the ambition. As local and regional governments, we are committed to a new mindset, which is ecosystem-based, circular and preventive of pollution.”
Minister Schauvliege represented Belgium at the 3rd UNEA conference in Nairobi.
Flanders Marine Istitute (Research pollution): www.vliz.be/en
Environment Flanders: www.omgevingvlaanderen.be