Marine Litter Med (2nd phase)


Upon the completion of the successful first phase of Marine Litter Med, the EU has renewed its commitment to support the Barcelona Convention in addressing marine litter, particularly plastic pollution. Marine Litter Med Phase II, implemented by the UNEP/MAP system, is an important opportunity for MedWaves to continue providing assistance to a number of non-EU countries in terms of prevention of marine litter and plastic pollution.

Plastic Pollution

Every day, 730 tonnes of plastic reach the Mediterranean Sea. That is equal to roughly 100 school buses parking on the shores daily. Marine litter, including plastics and microplastics, is one of the main pressures to the marine and coastal environment in the Mediterranean.  

Marine Litter Med I began addressing this challenge. Marine Litter Med II continues the important work.

The EU has renewed its commitment, providing the important opportunity for MedWaves to continue assistance for the prevention of marine plastic pollution in a number of non-EU countries.

In December 2021, Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention at COP 22 adopted a legally binding instrument: the Regional Plan in the Mediterranean. Marine Litter Med II puts the plan to action through implementation activities that address key reduction and prevention measures. Additionally, the programme contributes to the development of IMAP Candidate Indicator 24 towards making it operational at country level. 

Marine Litter Med II takes the actionable steps to achieve the reduction of environmental targets agreed on by the Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention in 2016 during COP 18, and reaffirmed during COP 21 and referred to in its Naples Ministerial Declaration.

Marine Litter Med II prioritises:  

  • support for monitoring and assessment in the Mediterranean;
  • expansion and upscaling of the pilot implementation project of the updated Regional Plan on Marine Litter Management in the Mediterranean; and
  • enhancement of inter-basin cooperation, with a focus on strengthening collaboration with the Commission on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (BSC), General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and other regional partners affiliated with the G7 and G20 Marine Litter Action Plans.


MedWaves’s role: 

MedWaves provides support for the prevention of single-use plastic bags and the implementation of extended producers responsibility (EPR) in a number of countries.

Activities on single-use plastic bags

  • Tunisia: A communication campaign on the ban of single-use plastic bags was conceived and tools produced, including: leaflets, posters, roll ups, video and caps. The official launch of the campaign on 11 May 2022 hosted a press conference at the Minister of Environment, with the presence of the Minister and the EU Delegation in Tunisia. MedWaves has engaged with five associations to disseminate communication materials and conduct a survey with consumers and shops. A webinar is planned to share the results and support policy recommendations.
  • Lebanon: Through consultation workshops with stakeholders, two scenarios are being considered: a tax system and a reward system. Based on these sessions, and in agreement the with the Ministry of Environment, MedWaves will support implementation of the selected system.
  • Egypt: Ongoing collaboration with international organisations connected to plastic bags, and more largely on plastic pollution is focused on producing guidelines on plastic bags.

Activities on extended producers responsibility (EPR)

  • Morocco: MedWaves collaborating in the drafting of an EPR roadmap on PET plastic bottles, also taking into consideration other packaging waste, through the EU-funded WES project. This roadmap will provide for concrete action in the short term, with the Centre assisting in its implementation.
  • Algeria: Implementation of a pilot project at the Willaya to test a voluntary EPR system by which producers financially contribute to the collection of packaging waste, as well as improving the income of collectors.


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