Marine litter: What role for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR)?
Thursday 22 November 2018, 12:30-15:00
European Parliament, Room A1G2, Brussels
Hosted by MEPs Jytte Guteland, Fredrick Federley & Maria Spyraki
Vast amounts of plastic enter the oceans each year, with unforeseeable consequences for the environment and biological life. Marine litter has become the most visible and the most alarming side effect of the linear plastics economies. Rising public awareness has pushed the marine litter problem high on the political agenda. The publication of the EU Plastics Strategy in January 2018 has created additional momentum.
Rising pressure on policy makers to tackle the marine litter problem has put the spotlight on apparently easy and quick solutions, such as the use of bioplastics, clean-up measures and the ban of single-use plastic products. Promoting these solutions is helpful to raise public awareness, but it also distracts from the real challenges that require a broader approach, inter alia with an international dimension.
Marine litter can only be effectively addressed and tackled by implementing circular economy solutions on all levels worldwide. It requires a shift in mindset and the implementation of circular economy principles, such as Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR). These incentivise and drive the necessary changes along the lifecycle of products and packaging – covering design, consumption and post-consumption stages, including a functioning and holistic waste management infrastructure. International cooperation on marine litter will also play a crucial role in disseminating best practices and driving change.
The EPR Club International Conference 2018 is hosted under the Intergroup on “Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development” and organised on initiative of ACR+ (Association of Cities and Regions for Sustainable Resource Management); DSD (Der Grüne Punkt Duales System Deutschland); EXPRA (Extended Producer Responsibility Alliance) and SUEZ, members of the EPR Club – a multi-stakeholder platform for exchange of information and debate about Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) issues in Europe. The event takes place during the European Week for Waste Reduction (EWWR) which aims to promote sustainable resource and waste management on a European scale.