Still commited to the fight against plastic pollution !

During the 2019 Monaco Ocean Week, fifteen new initiatives in eight Mediterranean countries were recognised by the BeMed network.

As in each year, the winners of the BeMed call for micro-initiatives meet to share the different initiatives, receive feedback from previous projects and strengthen the network of Mediterranean figures committed against plastic pollution. On 28 March, the winners from the past three years and the founding members of the BeMed network met during workshops to discuss three topics:

THEME 1 : How can we regulate regional plastic pollution?

This workshop brought together BeMed members to establish an overview of pollution in the represented countries, to compare obstacles and drivers of action, and to find inspiring synergies. The different discussion groups underlined the lack of user knowledge regarding the environmental impact of plastic waste, particularly single-use plastic (e.g. in the tourism sector), the high cost of alternatives, the difficulties in collecting the expanded polystyrene used in fish crates (industrial sector) and the lack of purification station equipment to process industrial plastic pellets.

The chosen guidelines for action:

•          Regulate the production of plastic (banning single-use plastic, banning planned obsolescence);

•          Implement economic incentives for eco-responsible products;

•          Effectively apply existing legislation;

•          Create a solution database for best practices, including the regulatory framework for each country.

THEME 2 : How can we involve private partners?

BeMed wants to enter into further dialogue with the private sector by encouraging research of innovative solutions to act on the entire plastic life cycle (design, production, distribution, use and recycling), with the circular economy in mind.

The chosen guidelines for action:

•          Create and coordinate a business club with top scientists which aims to act as a “solutions research centre” to help businesses to innovate better and quicker (sharing existing best practices, pooling human and financial efforts);

•          Target the tourist sector in the southern and eastern part of the Mediterranean basin to generate momentum;

•          Implement monitoring of the blue economy, taking public expectations into consideration.

THEME 3 : How can we reinforce the BeMed network?

Only a collective dynamic beyond borders will allow us to tackle the challenge of a plastic-free Mediterranean. BeMed’s strength lies in this network of committed and supportive Mediterranean stakeholders. This collaboration workshop explored new lines to encourage the sharing of experiences and to reinforce the existing synergies.

The chosen guidelines for action:

•          Improve communication promoting network actions;

•          Organise regular meetings with network stakeholders to encourage the exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences (conferences, events, team building, etc.).