Plastic litter that ends up in the sea presents a hazard to both man and nature – floating debris tends to accumulate near the coast, often washing up on shore and causing further problems to land wildlife. Plastic debris is currently not biodegradable and the amount finding its way into our seas is rising. Marine Clean is cleaning up local seas and promoting edible and marine biodegradable packing to reduce the impact of future debris.
Clean up once and for all, let future litter be less harmful
The plastic currently ending up in the entrails of seabirds, tangling around rudders and generally degrading our marine environments can be borne by offshore winds, released deliberately or form part of ship waste. Marine Clean is networking and lobbying at national and EU levels to boost surveillance and public awareness.
But something needs to be done now, which is why Marine Clean has developed marine litter removal equipment which can be easily trawled behind just one vessel. “The equipment is very light and is especially useful for cleaning in tight spaces such as harbours and small bays,” explains project press officer Dr Urška Kropf, of TURNA.
The equipment is being tested to measure air pollution during usage, how the trawling stands up to different weather and water conditions and general mechanical testing.
“Our partners are based both at the Adriatic and Baltic, two very different seas. So if and when we get good results in both we’ll know we’ve covered pretty much all parameters,” says Dr Kropf.
Litter can never be entirely prevented from ending up in the sea
The Marine Clean project takes a pragmatic approach to the problem of sea litter. Instead of hoping somehow to prevent any more rubbish making its way into the seas, it seeks rather to try and reduce the impact of future debris by promoting edible packaging and marine biodegradable packaging.
© Photo - Dr. Borut Mavric, National Institute of Biology - Marine Biology Station Piran