Prevention of Marine Litter in the Caribbean Sea (PROMAR)

The Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Colombia share not only their access to the Caribbean Sea, but also several economic characteristics: Tourism, fisheries and maritime transport are of central importance. However, these industries all produce large amounts of waste, mainly from Fast Moving Consumer Goods wrapped in single-use plastic packaging. Inadequate collection and disposal has given rise to wide-spread public concerns about pollution levels and marine debris in the Caribbean Sea. Studies have measured the concentration of plastic litter across the region and found as many as 200,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometre in the north-eastern Caribbean. Most of this litter originates from the Caribbean countries and from northern waters. These plastics settle throughout the water column, fragmenting into microplastics that can seriously harm marine life. On average, 2,014 littered items were found per kilometre of beaches and coastal areas, most commonly including plastic bottles (21 %), other single-use plastic items and foam containers. Abandoned fishing gear is another critical form of marine litter and is considered the main source of plastic waste in the marine environment coming from the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

The Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) supports the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Colombia in their goal to reduce flows of plastic waste (mainly packaging) from terrestrial sources into the Caribbean Sea. To this end, the PROMAR project will quantify and map plastic waste streams and anchor monitoring systems at governing local authorities in selected demonstration sites. Based on established baselines, the project team will implement pilot circular economy solutions to achieve a measurable reduction in plastic waste entering aquatic environments at all sites. The project will strengthen political partners’ capacities to implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) systems and support their contributions to international dialogue processes. Due to the transboundary effects of marine pollution, the project will replicate successful pilot cases in other areas beyond the demonstration sites and increase the public’s awareness in order to avoid, collect and intercept marine litter in coastal areas. All of these activities are carried out in all three countries simultaneously; in addition, replication, policy dialogue and dissemination activities will also take place in other Latin American countries and the Wider Caribbean Region.

adelphi is leading the conduction of material flow analyses to assess the current regional situations as well as the development and dissemination of waste management tools and best practices materials. This includes supporting transnational policy dialogue with political partners and the dissemination of tools, results, and lessons through global and regional networks. As the project lead, adelphi further contributes to the project by carrying out the overall project management and coordination, monitoring and reporting vis-à-vis ZUG’s designated programme manager for the grant programme on marine litter prevention, and supporting all other project activities.

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