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Veolia joins BeMed's new Business College in the fight against plastic pollution in the Mediterranean

On November 30, the Monaco association (Beyond Plastic Med) is launching the BeMed Business College for companies operating around the Mediterranean, including Veolia. The aim is to create and unite a network of players engaged in fighting plastic pollution in the Mediterranean and capable of implementing concrete solutions to reduce this pollution at source. The entire plastics value chain is represented, and includes both scientists and NGOs.

 

The Mediterranean: one of the most polluted seas in the world

More than 229,000 metric tons of plastic waste - the equivalent of 500 containers a day - are dumped into the Mediterranean every year. With more than 250 billion plastic particles in suspension, this makes it one of the most polluted areas in the world.

Against this background, in 2015 the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and Tara Océan Foundation*, Surfrider Europe and MAVA, along with the Union Internationale pour la Conservation de la Nature (UICN), created Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed) to reduce plastic pollution by employing effective solutions. BeMed has already supported 58 initiatives in 15 Mediterranean countries.
* which the Veolia Foundation partners.

 

Engage businesses in fighting plastic pollution

Initiated by BeMed at the beginning of 2020 in the form of a discussion space for companies operating around the Mediterranean, the Business College brings together private sector players covering the entire value chain in order to accelerate the transition to plastic pollution reduction. It is supported by a scientific committee of experts.

 

Two Business College working groups

BeMed officially launched this Business College following two days during which the association members worked in two groups: one on "science and industry", to clarify key issues; the other on alternatives to single-use plastics in order to draw up a guide to solutions and set up a pilot project in Marseille aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastics in hotels. This pilot project could be replicated in Tunisia.

 

Veolia's positioning: act upstream

First and foremost Veolia acts upstream on land-based pollution - the source of 80% of marine pollution - in order to eliminate sea and ocean pollution. At both the land-sea interface and going back to the source, Veolia treats pollution flows and helps to reduce the vulnerability of regions and transform production and consumption patterns using a circular approach.

Every year BeMed supports projects aimed at reducing the use of plastic, finding alternatives, improving collection systems, raising awareness, collecting data and helping implement new regulations.

In order to act effectively and reduce this pollution, the new UICN report "The Mediterranean: Mare plasticum", published as part of the Closing the Plastic Tap project, addresses three questions: How much plastic has accumulated in the Mediterranean? Where are the main geographical sources of leakage in the Mediterranean? What will be the main sources of pollution in the future?