Five articles veering recent developments in marine litter and the solutions

The Government respond to the Environmental Audit Committee to the micro-plastics report An interesting insight into Defra’s thinking on micro-plastics and their commitment to act. They also flag a report they are soon to publish on the evidence

Chief Medical Officer to investigate impact of microplastics on human health

The Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee, Mary Creagh MP, said: “It’s welcome news that the Chief Medical Officer will investigate the impact of microplastics on human health. Our inquiry recommended more research in this area – as microplastics are found frequently in sea food like shellfish and oysters. We also welcome the fact that Defra will shortly be publishing a report on the potential harm that microplastics can cause in the marine environment. We look forward to seeing the Government bring forward its formal consultation on its plan to ban microbeads by the end of the year.” 

UK Government reject the idea of a 5p charge on coffee cups

Just when you got the idea that Government might actually understand the need to incentivise recycling, then they revert back to type. They expect the sector to do this themselves. Hasn’t happened so far so I wonder how long it will take? There is a petition on this. 

Ghost fishing gear

Ghost fishing gear is any fishing equipment or fishing-related litter that has been abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded. Ghost gear is a major threat to animals in our oceans, entangling, injuring or killing thousands of animals every year. An estimated 640,000 tonnes of fishing gear is added to our oceans annually. As most fishing gear is made of plastic it persists in the oceans for centuries, accumulating year on year. World Animal Protection’s Sea Change campaign aims to prevent ghost gear entering UK waters and to protect species affected by it. You can watch World Animal Protection’s film which helps fishermen protect their business from the blight of ghost gear and you can read about ghost fishing gear.

British Standard on the Circular Economy BS8001

The move to a ‘circular economy’ has been identified as a significant opportunity for UK business. It will contribute towards a resource efficient and low-carbon economy, reducing costs and supply chain risks, while generating economic and social value.

Following a recent review of waste policies, it was recommended that government “work with standard setting organizations to encourage inclusion of more waste prevention requirements in … product standards” prompting BSI to produce a due diligence report into existing standards, followed by a stakeholder forum to identify gaps and priority areas for standardization.

The standard is due out in spring 2017 and views are being sought.

Veolia – Imagine 2015 The Future of Water, Waste & Energy

How Business view the future: A new report, Imagine 2050, published today by leading resource management company Veolia, highlights the innovative business models needed in three sectors to meet resource and waste challenges between now and 2050. The manufacturing, pharmaceutical & chemical and food & beverage sectors generate a waste mine of around 13 million tonnes, which if properly re-used, recycled or re-manufactured could generate £4 billion of value that is currently ‘hidden’. These three sectors are strategically important for the UK economy.

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