Tons of waste in european seas

lorena rojas paz made this access to documents request to European Environment Agency

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From: lorena rojas paz

Delivered

Dear European Environment Agency,

Under the right of access to documents in the EU treaties, as developed in Regulation 1049/2001, I am requesting documents which contain the following information:

-The tons of waste found in European seas in the years 2016, 2017 and 2018. Which seas were the most affected.

- The type of waste found and the damage caused to marine species.
- The policies that are carried out in the countries of the European Union since 2015 to these days.

Yours faithfully,

Lorena Rojas

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From: Leeanne GALEA
European Environment Agency


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Dear Ms Rojas,

 

Thank for your interest in the European Environment Agency (EEA).

 

Kindly note our response with regard to your request for documents
containing the below information:

 

·         The tons of waste found in European seas in the years 2016, 2017
and 2018. Which seas were the most affected.

To our knowledge, there is no direct study, which provides the tonnes of
‘waste’ found in European seas. However, if you mean tonnes of ‘marine
litter’ flowing to the European seas, there are only worldwide estimations
in this regard. It is estimated that more than 150 million tonnes of
plastics have accumulated in the world’s oceans, whilst 4.6 – 12.7 million
tonnes (from [1]Jambeck et.al) are added every year.

 

The EEA is currently implementing the Marine Litter Watch Project.
Dissemination and abundance of beach litter items can be found at the
project website:
[2]https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/water/e...

 

The Joint Research Centre, OSPAR, UNEP Mediterranean Action Plan and
HELCOM also have information and beach litter monitoring data, which can
be found at:

[3]http://mcc.jrc.ec.europa.eu/documents/Ma...

[4]http://stateofthebalticsea.helcom.fi/pre...

http://stateofthebalticsea.helcom.fi/pre...

 

·         The type of waste found and the damage caused to marine species

If you are referring to type of ‘marine litter’ found in European seas,
marine litter is found in macro (over 2.5cm) and micro forms, and at
beaches, the sea floor, the sea column and sea surface (floating litter).
Plastic items are the most abundant and damaging component of marine
litter. Around 70 percent of the beach litter are plastics in European
seas. Impacts of marine litter are harming marine ecosystems, through
litter ingestion, entanglement, accelerated invasions of non-native
species, and potential toxicity of released chemicals from plastic.
Seabirds, turtles, mammals and fish are known to ingest marine plastics,
mistaking them for food (Foekema et al., 2013). In contrast to
entanglement, the ingestion is rarely lethal and more often cause
sublethal effects, such as injuries and negatively affects fitness of
organisms (Rochman et al., 2013; Wright et al., 2013; Kühn et al., 2015).
Solely in the Mediterranean, more than 180 marine species have ingested
plastic, with the highest concentrations found in loggerhead sea turtles
(Caretta caretta; Romeo et al., 2015; UNEP/MAP, 2017). In the North-East
Atlantic, Northern fulmars (Fulmarus glacialis) research also showed that
more than half of the birds assessed had ingested plastic (OSPAR, 2017).

 

·         The policies that are carried out in the countries of the EU
since 2015 to date

Kindly be aware that European environmental legislation is beyond the
EEA’s working remit. The Agency neither sets nor enforces environmental
policies. It is the European Commission which has the responsibility of
making new legislative proposals and overseeing that Member States act in
accordance with EU law. The role of the EEA is simply to supply all
Parties concerned with relevant environmental information.

 

Therefore, we would recommend that you access the webpage of the
Directorate-General for the Environment (DG Environment), which is the
branch of the European Commission responsible for European environmental
policy and legislation ([5]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/) . You may
also wish to contact DG Environment directly, should the latter website
not provide you with sufficient information. Relevant contact details are
located at [6]http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/environment/inde...

 

Furthermore, since the individual countries are responsible for
implementing EU policies, you may find it useful to contact the
responsible national authorities in the countries of your interest.

 

However, you may find below some relevant key EU environmental
legislation, which commits the EU and its Member States to improve the
state of Europe’s water:

·         Water Framework Directive
([7]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/wa...

·         Urban Waste Water Directive
([8]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/wa...

·         Drinking Water Directive
([9]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/water/wa...

·         the Natura 2000 network of protected areas also includes
measures to minimise impacts on the species and habitats covered by Birds
and Habitats Directive

·         the Marine Strategy Framework Directive
([10]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/marine/e...

·         The European Commission’s Action Plan for nature, people and the
economy, where in actions under the plan are expected to directly
contribute to marine conservation initiatives

·         Waste Framework Directive, where in the revision of the
Directive adopted in 2018, some new provisions with respect to marine
litter have been added
([11]https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

·         The Circular Economy Action Plan
([12]https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/...

·         The Plastics Strategy
([13]http://ec.europa.eu/environment/circular...

·         The European Commission’s proposal for the Single-Use Plastic
Directive, on which the European Parliament and the Council of the EU have
reached a provisional political agreement
([14]http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-...

 

We hope this information may be useful to you.

 

Kind regards,

 

EEA Enquiry Service

                             

Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K, Denmark
[15]eea.europa.eu
Phone: +45 33367100

[16]Sign up to receive EEA products

 

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