Economic instruments are a great ally to reduce marine litter and could be further used, CleanSea scientists outcome

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CleanSea team has released a policy brief on economic instruments to reduce marine litter. The main objective is to provide a critical review and assessment of potential measures to reduce marine litter. This brief focuses on existing economic instruments implemented in Europe. It points critical factors which influence the appropriateness and effectiveness of economic instruments. It also shows where the scope of current economic instruments could be expanded to explore their capacity to reduce marine litter. Such an evaluation of existing economic instruments to reduce marine litter is essential to furthering the necessary steps to achieve GES and sustainable marine ecosystem management.

The brief includes key messages for policy makers on how to use and extend the scope of economic instruments. For example, it is perceived the potential to broaden and adapt the application of economic instruments to reduce marine litter in the EU, as not all of the key marine litter types (e.g. cigarette butts and cotton bud sticks) are addressed by economic instruments. For instance, applying economic instruments that are known to be effective in reducing consumption or increasing rates of collection (e.g. tax on plastic bags and deposit refund schemes for drink bottles) to other types of frequent marine litter items could be considered. Over time, these instruments should reduce the occurrence of these marine litter types, eventually dropping them from the top lists.

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