Promoting packaging that helps mitigate the impact of human activity on the sea and, in particular, reduce marine litter was the theme for the Ocean’s Calling podcast from Sociedade Ponto Verde (SPV). The podcast announced the results of the competition and its contribution to the goals of the OCEANWISE project. The conclusions of this virtual meeting make it clear that it is essential to invest in innovation, research and development if we are to reduce marine litter.
The participants in the Ocean’s Calling podcast included Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of the Sea, Inês dos Santos Costa, Secretary of State for the Environment, José Manuel Marques, Director of Marine Environment and Sustainability Services at the Directorate‑General of Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services, Anthony Mahe, Material and Sustainability Manager Europe / Molding Division from Storopack, and Ana Isabel Trigo Morais, CEO/Managing Director of SPV.
Secretary of State for the Environment Inês dos Santos Costa said that Portugal needed to take action, both in terms of supply and of demand. This was work that could be done alone or in conjunction with European counterparts. On the demand side, considering ambitions in terms of voluntary and mandatory regulations, all these agreements acted as levers for innovation, research and development and forced them to happen. On the supply side, the Secretary of State underscored the financial instruments that were being prepared and included an extraordinary environmental component.
“When it comes to the marine environment, we must include and work with companies and NGOs in finding the most appropriate solutions. The greatest challenge will be implementing the solutions that are being devised and tested by Ocean Wise more extensively, involving the five countries working on them,” said José Manuel Marques, Director of Marine Environment and Sustainability Services at the Directorate-General of Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services.
Ana Isabel Trigo Morais, CEO/Managing Director of SPV, said “We are living in a time that opens our eyes to the urgent need to take measures to reduce the environmental impact of activities. At Sociedade Ponto Verde, in addition to our efforts to raise awareness of good recycling habits, we are investing more and more in supporting the development of better packaging solutions and speeding up innovation via eco-design and pack 4 recycling. We are very pleased to see that this is a concern that we share with our companies, which contribute to the achievement of common goals.”
In a video message, Ricardo Serrão Santos, Minister of the Sea, said “Constant threats to the ocean and marine life are weakening its ability to resist disruptions, adapt to climate change and fulfil its role as a global ecological and climate regulator. Cooperation and commitment are essential in ensuring development and balanced, knowledge-based global governance if we are to achieve real, sustainable progress.”
The podcast also involved Storopack, the company that won the Ocean’s Calling competition with the Seaclic project. This involved an alternative packaging to EPS (expanded polystyrene) for highly sensitive food products such as fish and shellfish that was just as efficient as conventional packaging. Another advantage is that it is produced with bioplastic and is composted industrially under standard EN 13432. The composting process can begin as close as possible to the packaging’s last use with no need for cleaning beforehand, thereby reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and for incineration.
You can view the podcast on the homepage.
Ocean’s Calling was a competition organised by Sociedade Ponto Verde as part of OCEANWISE, a project co-funded by Interreg Atlantic Area and coordinated by the Directorate‑General of Natural Resources, Safety and Maritime Services (DGRM). It involved a huge team of 13 partners from five countries in the Atlantic Area – Portugal, Ireland, France, Spain and the United Kingdom. The aim was to promote, raise awareness and stimulate the development of solutions to improve the use, production, collection and recycling of EPS packaging, with particular focus on its impact on the oceans.