Raising awareness and trigger co-responsibility about the issue of marine litter in Europe – the challenge of MARLISCO

By Joana Mira Veiga, Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC)

Marine Litter is now globally recognised as an emerging issue of concern that has major economic implications to maritime and coastal sectors, ecologic impacts and possibly other not yet fully-understood risks. Given the cross-sectorial nature of the issue and the fact that the way we produce and deal with waste reflects our social and economic paradigms, marine litter is a complex problem, where responsibilities are often unclear and the burden of costs unequally divided.

The Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) integrates a diverse consortium of 20 organisations that have successfully launched MARLISCO – Marine Litter in Europe’s Seas: Social Awareness and Co-responsibility (FP 7 – Science in Society). The general objective of this project is to raise societal awareness, trigger co-responsibility across the different sectors and facilitate dialogue between the different players on both the problems and the potential solutions relating to marine litter.

Between 2012 and 2015, MARLISCO will develop and implement a series of activities and mechanisms to engage, empower and facilitate dialogue between key stakeholders, across 15 European countries. In particular, these include national debates involving industry sectors, scientists and the general public; a European video contest for school students; educational activities and tools targeting the younger generation; and exhibitions to raise awareness among the wider public. MARLISCO will make use of innovative multimedia approaches to reach the widest possible audience, in the most effective manner.