A European group raises 4.6 billion dollars to prevent plastic in the seas

  • Increase funding target to €4 billion by 2025
  • The Clean Oceans initiative has already distributed 1.6 billion euros
  • Aims to prevent plastic waste from reaching the sea

LONDON, Feb 11 (Reuters) – A group of European development banks plans to double its funding for global efforts to stop plastic waste from polluting the world’s oceans to 4 billion euros ($4.6 billion) .

The Clean Oceans initiative, led by the French and German development banks and the European Investment Bank, is the largest such consortium targeting plastic pollution of the sea.

Around 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enter the oceans each year, with most being washed onto land or washed into rivers, the group said on Friday, threatening the marine environment and communities that depend on the sea for their livelihoods.

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The new 2025 target builds on an initial funding target of €2 billion by 2023, 80% of which has already been allocated to projects in countries such as Sri Lanka, China and Egypt which will benefit more than 20 million people, the group said.

“The oceans are under great pressure: they are polluted, littered, overexploited, their species richness is massively compromised,” said Stefan Wintels, managing director of the German development bank KfW.

Earlier this week, a review of more than 2,590 studies commissioned by the environmental group WWF said that by the end of the century, marine areas more than two and a half times the size of Greenland could exceed ecologically dangerous thresholds. concentration of microplastics.

This is based on projections that plastic production will more than double by 2040, resulting in a quadrupling of plastic debris in the ocean by 2050, according to the WWF report.

The 1.6 billion euros already allocated by the European development group to tackle the problem have taken the form of long-term financing of projects limiting the release of plastics, micro-plastics and other waste thanks to better waste, wastewater and stormwater management.

Improving management in developing countries, home to some of the fastest growing and most densely populated cities, would help stop some of the 1.5 million tonnes of microplastics that end up in the sea each year, he said. declared.

Led by the French Development Agency (AFD), KfW and the EIB, the group also includes Italy’s Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), Spain’s national promotional bank ICO and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

($1 = 0.8732 euros)

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Reporting by Simon Jessop; Editing by Alexander Smith

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