The G7 countries are developing an action plan to combat marine litter. Practical measures to reduce waste from land- and sea-based sources will be set out at a meeting in Berlin. This meeting will also focus on removing the existing waste in our oceans. During the G7 summit in Elmau at the start of June 2015, the G7 heads of state and government decided on a G7 action plan to combat marine litter and expressly committed themselves to concrete measures. Today in Berlin, State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth opened a workshop following up on the decisions taken in Elmau. He highlighted to workshop participants that "marine litter is the most visible sign of economic practices and a way of life that are not sustainable".
Today, there are an estimated 100 to 142 million tonnes of waste in our oceans. Most of this waste is packaging material and waste from fishing and shipping, 75 percent of this waste consists of plastics. Currently up to 10 million tonnes of waste are added to this each year.
State Secretary Flasbarth commented: "Marine litter has been a pressing matter on the agenda for marine conservation for a long time now, both nationally and internationally. There is also a common understanding among the G7 heads of state and government regarding the urgency of this issue and important fields of action and approaches. We are striving for a package of concrete implementation measures with which we can save our oceans from further pollution from vast quantities of waste, in particular plastic waste. What we need is a clear roadmap."
At a workshop in Berlin from 3 to 5 August at the invitation of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, the Elmau action plan will be extended to include practical measures. Research on this topic will also be intensified. The plan already contains clear statements on the political aspects and subject areas to be addressed. Representatives of the G7 countries as well as stakeholders from NGOs, industry, business and the scientific community are attending the workshop in Berlin.