Plastic pollution at sea is one of the most serious ecological problems affecting the ocean today. Once released into the environment, plastic can take up to 500 years to disappear. Each year, more than 10 million tons of plastic are released into the ocean. As it drifts between two waters, plastic can strangle or suffocate many animal species. Under the effect of the sun, it fragments into microplastics that can be ingested by fish and thus enter the food chain. It is therefore a potential threat to human health. With more than 3000 billion particles of microplastic, the Mediterranean Sea is the most polluted sea in the world.
With the impluse of the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, the Tara Ocean Foundation, Surfrider Foundation Europe, the Mava Foundation and the IUCN, the Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed) initiative was created in 2015 to fight against plastic pollution in the Mediterranean. In January 2019, BeMed became an association under Monegasque law.
BeMed’s missions :
In order to respond to local issues, BeMed supports every year projects aiming at reducing the use of plastic, finding alternatives, improving waste management systems, raising awareness, collecting data, mobilizing stakeholders and helping to set up new regulations. Since its creation, BeMed has committed to finance 1.23 M€ to support 82 projects in 15 different countries. Through the coordination of this network of local stakeholders, BeMed aims to instill a regional dynamic by connecting organizations, facilitating the sharing of experience and best practices and encouraging the replication of effective actions.
To strengthen its impact, BeMed created in January 2020 its Business Club which brings together companies that want to commit to a plastic-free Mediterranean. The Club aims to:
- Bring together companies from different sectors and different segments in the plastics value chain,
- Develop dialogue between scientists, companies and NGOs,
- Deploy field actions adapted to the various local contexts in the Mediterranean.
All the work carried out by the Club benefits from scientific expertise and is supported by a very active network of stakeholders. In 2022, it has 12 members: CHANEL, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer, Veolia, Haribo, Carrefour, Nielsen Recycling, Iberostar, Intercontinental Marseille- Hotel Dieu, L’Occitane en Provence, Nestlé France, Cogitel of the Altea Packaging group and the Tunisian hotel La Badira.
BeMed is hosted by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation.