MEPs react on waste management at EU ports

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The Transport and Tourism Committee voted today in favour of a directive by the European Commission on Port Reception Facilities to tackle the discharge of waste into the oceans.

Reducing marine litter and pollution has become one of the biggest environmental challenges. Between 4.8 and 12.7 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the ocean every year. Tackling deliberately or accidentally released waste and sewage from ships plays an important role in achieving a plastic free and healthy ocean.

The key objectives of the directive are the reduction of discharges of ship-generated waste at sea and the reduction of the administrative burden on ports, port users and competent authorities.

ALDE MEP Gesine Meissner (DE), rapporteur on this file, who welcomes the Commission’s proposal as part of a strategy towards a circular economy, said:

“With the 100% indirect fee for plastic garbage, ships loose the financial incentive to dump garbage at sea as they pay the fee anyway once they enter a EU port. We shall try to avoid as much as possible extra fees for unforeseeable high amounts of garbage. All waste which generates additional costs risks ending up in the sea again.

It is also important that we asked Member States to establish ‘Fishing for Litter’ initiatives to cover the costs for passively fished waste. These costs should not be borne by fishermen who might otherwise think twice if they take on board the waste they find in their nets.”

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