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Policy Dialogue
Plastics and oceans: How can Europe end further discharge into the oceans?

Monday, 05 March 2018

An estimated 8 million tons of plastic waste enters the world’s oceans each year. Against this backdrop, combatting marine litter is gaining momentum. In December 2017, the United Nations Environment Assembly agreed on the importance of eliminating the discharge of litter and microplastics into the oceans, and the United Nations is calling on all stakeholders, governments, civil society organisations, corporations and others, to step up actions to combat marine litter. The EU has also risen to the challenge. The European Commission presented a Plastics Strategy on 16 January 2018, which includes suggestions for measures to reduce plastic leakage into oceans. At the same time, national efforts play an important role. Norway, with its Plastic Strategy and measures to reduce marine litter and microplastics on both national and international levels, can also provide valuable lessons for others. The Policy Dialogue, organised in cooperation with the Mission of Norway, discussed the existing strategies to reduce plastic leakage into oceans, particularly from land-based sources. Speakers reflected on good practices and innovative solutions, and debated about the needed measures at national, EU and international level to eliminate plastic pollution into the marine environment.

Speakers included: Oda Sletnes, Ambassador of Norway to the European Union, Annika Hedberg, Senior Policy Analyst, European Policy Centre, Ola Elvestuen, Minister of Climate and Environment, Norway, Hugo-Maria Schally, Head of Unit, Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption, Directorate-General for Environment, European Commission, Thomas Hartnik, Head of Section for Waste and Contaminated Soil, Norwegian Environment Agency, Eamonn Bates, Secretary General, Pack2Go Europe, Emma Priestland, Marine litter Policy Officer, Seas at Risk.

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