The Slovenia Times

Chemistry Institute spearheads effort to reduce plastic waste in Mediterranean

Environment & NatureScience & Education
Crete, Greece
Marine plastic pollution.
Photo: Aljoša Rehar/STA

The Slovenian Institute of Chemistry will coordinate a major EU-sponsored innovation action project seeking ways to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the Mediterranean. The Remedies project will bring together 23 partners from 12 countries. It is valued at €9.15 million.

Remedies, presented to the press in Koper on 10 January, is the first project funded under the EU's new Horizon programme called Mission Healthy Oceans, Seas, Coastal and Inland Waters.

It was submitted by the group Scientists Against Plastics, led by Uroš Novak from the National Institute of Chemistry, who will also serve as project coordinator.

Novak said the project focuses on presenting solutions that can have an impact on reducing marine litter, plastic and microplastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea basin.

The institute expects the project to reach up to 100,000 people through nine demonstration sites in the Mediterranean. The target is to collect around 400 tonnes of plastic waste.

Later, they plan to apply the same solutions at 70 other points around the world. This way 250,000 people would be reached and 3,700 tonnes of plastic replaced with other materials.

The Slovenian demonstration site will be located at the small Marina Koper port, where Clera.One's technology for water recycling in vessel cleaning via filtration of microparticles and microplastics will be on display.

The public is also invited to participate. The institute will organise demonstration workshops for zero-waste cosmetics and shoreline clean-ups as well as the removal of scrap fishing nets. It will also promote reuse of collected plastic waste.

Jerneja Jug Jerše, the head of the European Commission representation to Slovenia, explained the mission is part of the EU's strategy to "protect 30% of marine areas, link ecological corridors into a pan-European network, restore degraded marine ecosystems and at least 25,000 kilometres of unregulated rivers, at least halve the amount of plastic waste in the sea by 2030, reduce microplastics emissions by at least 30% and decarbonise the blue economy."


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