On Tuesday 19 November, the Council of the EU adopted its conclusions on oceans and seas. The document calls on Member States and the European Commission to increase their actions to protect marine and coastal ecosystems as plastic waste and microplastics cause major environmental problems.
In this regard, the Council welcomes the adoption of the Single-Use Plastics Directive and encourages the full implementation of the provisions related to marine litter in the EU Strategy for Plastics. It also supports Member States’ efforts to strengthen the Blue Economy and boost the transition towards a more circular approach to minimise marine litter along with the generation of waste. As a result, the Council welcomes local, regional and public-private partnerships consortia to further develop waste management, including the collection of plastic waste from coastal areas. More details here.

Along the same line, the Competitiveness Council adopted conclusions on 29 November on the EU’s updated bioeconomy strategy. The document acknowledges that “sustainable and circular bioeconomy can offer solutions for a sustainable replacement of fossil-based and other non-renewable primary resources by bio-based products and materials. These include resource-efficient use and reuse of bio-based products and materials in particular solutions for bio-based recyclable and marine biodegradable substitutes for plastics and micro-plastics also contributing to plastic-free, healthy seas and oceans and reducing plastic waste from sea and land”.

The conclusions can be found here.