The European Commission is seeking public input to a consultation on single use plastics and fishing gear in a follow up to the EU Strategy on Plastics in the Circular Economy (2015) scheduled for adoption this month.

Microplastic marine debris Connolly TRACHT BEACH AUG17

Marine litter on Tracht Beach, Co Galway                                                                              Photo Paul Connolly 

An Action Plan for a Circular Economy identified plastics, which represents hall of all marine litter, as one of five priority areas, due to low rates of reuse and recycling, along with littering.

A UN environment programme estimates that damage to the marine environment from marine litter is around US$8bn annually; the forecast suggests by 2050 the oceans will contain more plastic than fish. Stakeholders in the maritime sector and the public are invited and encouraged to input to the survey by the February 12 closing date.

Reducing marine litter: actions on single use plastics and abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear