Plastic pollution in the world’s oceans is an environmental disaster. Plastic can take up to 500 years to decompose once it has been discharged into the natural environment. The Veolia and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundations wanted to take action in order to foster grassroots initiatives to reduce this form of pollution. Via the Beyond Plastic Med (BeMed) task force, a call for micro-initiatives was made in January 2017, offering funding for projects working to reduce plastic pollution on the coastline and at sea in the Mediterranean Region.
A few months later, 11 projects from Greece, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, Albania, Lebanon, Tunisia and Montenegro were selected in Monaco in the presence of HRH Prince Albert II of Monaco as part of Monaco Ocean Week. The projects are ambitious and will inform the general public about the dangers of plastic and will galvanise stakeholders to combat this scourge. They include cleaning beaches, handing out reusable cotton bags and wooden utensils, making awareness-raising posters and developing pollution measuring tools.