CapiMed-Islands is a capitalisation initiative to maximize the impact of numerous BeMed projects in islands with one common goal: litter-free islands. Building a community, transferring results and impacting policies are the ingredients for success

Capitalization project

The resilience of small islands demonstrates that it is possible to create solutions. 

The power to overcome pervasive marine plastic pollution and truly establish sustainable solutions is why islands are leaders of change. CapiMed-Islands is dedicated to supporting the leaders in the Mediterranean, ensuring the restoration of healthy ecosystems by reducing plastic pollution. 


The beauty of the Mediterranean islands has drawn tourists for decades, reaching the top of bucket lists across the world. Just below the surface of the breathtaking views, the sea is choking from marine pollution. Marine transport coupled with industrial and touristic activities has deposited 1-10 million plastic particles per square kilometer; causing the Mediterranean Sea to be one of the most polluted in the world. 

Despite the daunting challenges in reconciling large quantities of plastics waste and insufficient resources to set up complete sorting and recycling channels, islands are laboratories for innovative solutions. These solutions help to simultaneously restore natural ecosystems and raise awareness within communities and among visitors. 

CapiMed-Islands strives for long-term impacts on the reduction of marine litter by providing a capitalisation process to support the Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed) achievements of plastics prevention in the Mediterranean island projects. Three levels of intervention target specific objectives:  

  • Fostering Collaboration: Among selected island-based BeMed projects to facilitate a coherent and complementary approach.
  • Transfer Knowledge: Sharing the individual project approaches, results and lessons learned with other islands helps build capacity, as well as support the creation of new islands partnerships.
  • Mainstream results: Sharing results of projects and programmes helps to shape national and regional policies, particularly within the Barcelona Convention and existing capitalisation processes.


BeMed launched a specific islands call for projects in 2020, and the following five projects were selected: 

  1. Together for zero plastic in 10 Albanian islands (Albania): Supporting Albanian municipalities to define a sustainable waste management strategy and develop regulations that limit the use of plastic on the islands. Led by Royal Albania Foundation.
  2. Plastistop (Djerba Island-Tunisia): Improving the collection and recycling of plastic on the island of Djerba through the implementation of selective sorting for 100 households. Led by JLIJ Association for the Marine Environment.
  3. For plastic free Croatian Islands (Hvar and Dugi Otok Island-Croatia): Reducing the production of waste; defining and implementing  an action plan based on the reduction of single-use plastics. Led by Association for Nature, Environment and Sustainable Development Sunce.
  4. Plastic Free Balearic (Balearic Island-Spain): Establishing a common “plastic free” certification in the tourism sector. Led by Fundación Save The Med and Ibiza Preservation.
  5. Zero Plastic in the Or Archipelago and replication in the Mediterranean (Or Archipelago-France; Kerkennah Island-Tunisia; Tavolara Island-Italy): Setting up local micro-channels to produce alternatives to single-use plastic made by local by-products. Led by Small Islands Organisation (SMILO).

Starting with these projects, the capitalisation process has assembled other BeMed supported projects in a BeMed-Islands community, promoting exchange among them, and facilitating transfer of results and impacting policies.


Expected achievements:

The CapiMed-Islands project supports BeMed beneficiaries by (also considering other recent and ongoing BeMed micro-initiatives related to islands):

  • Promoting collaboration among projects and beyond, facilitating the application of existing harmonised approaches and guidelines to tackle plastic pollution. This will include regular exchanges among projects, including bi-lateral and group meetings and a recommendations brief targeting BeMed projects.
  • Transferring results and lessons to support cross-border cooperation, increased replicability and the pooling of education and training efforts. This will include liaising with other initiatives in the Mediterranean and sharing workshops and webinar targeting islands and marine protected areas.
  • Bringing the BeMed community and outcomes into regional processes to maximise their impact. This will include elaborating the mainstreaming strategy to influence relevant regional policies and developing a policy brief addressing Mediterranean political processes related to biodiversity, plastics and circular economy.

MedWaves’ role:

MedWaves is the lead partner of the initiative, leading the community building and mainstreaming components. MedWaves plays a key role within the Barcelona Convention framework to support policy making at the regional level and at the national and local levels, with on the ground activities and technical support to the countries. During the last years, the mandate, work and resources for marine litter prevention have been intensified. 

MedWaves has a key role due to expertise in marine litter and plastic pollution, as well as actions targeting the different public sectors. MedWaves works with governments to enable policies to tackle plastic pollution; entrepreneurs to prevent the land-based pollution; Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) to set up and implement actions plans to take effective measures against plastic pollution; and NGOs

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