Author: Ignasi Mateo, SCP/RAC
Are you concerned with marine litter pollution in your MPA? Plastic Busters MPAs is here to support you!
Plastic Busters MPAs[ is a 48-month-long project funded by Interreg Mediterranean aiming to support and work with MPA managers to maintain biodiversity and preserve natural ecosystems in the Mediterranean region. How? By implementing actions that address the whole management cycle of marine litter, from monitoring and assessment to prevention and mitigation.
Plastic Busters MPAs brings together 15 implementing partners and 17 associated partners from 8 countries, namely Albania, Cyprus, Croatia, France, Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Spain. The management bodies of the Pelagos Sanctuary, the Tuscan Archipelago National Park, the National Marine Park of Zakynthos and the Cabrera Archipelago National Maritime-Terrestrial Park, are among the key partners of the project.
Plastic Busters MPAs kicked-off in 2018 with a studying phase that focused on elaborating and harmonizing marine litter methods and on shortlisting best practice marine litter measures. The monitoring methods were applied successfully applied during the project’s testing expeditions carried out at the MPAs of Cabrera, Pelagos Sanctuary, Tuscan Archipelago and Zakynthos in 2019.
Meanwhile the project kick-started the preparatory phase for solution-related actions against marine litter. Working for and from the perspective of an MPA manager, Plastic Busters MPAs shortlisted a set of 10 ‘no- regret’ measures’ to be piloted in the 4 partner MPAs of the project as well as in 6 selected partner MPAs of the ACT4LITTER project. The selected measures include best practices for tourism and recreation; solid waste management practices; replacement of single-use plastics; banning specific items and activities; awareness raising campaigns; port reception facilities; upcycling and/or recycling; extended producer responsibility schemes; fishing for litter and derelict fishing gear management schemes.
The outcomes and lessons learned of the project will serve as a basis for up-scaling and replicating the project’s marine litter activities in other Mediterranean MPAs. Please keep an eye on the Plastic Busters MPAs calendar for our upcoming trainings and capitalization events and follow us on Facebook or Twitter for all the latest project updates. Feel free to register on our newsletter too![