8 Ocean highlights from 2022

06/01/23

From notice letters to laws against plastic pollution and waste regulation, 2022 year offered many victories for the ocean. We take this opportunity to share 8 of our favourite moments from the previous 12 months. These critical wins empowered us to keep fighting for a cleaner and healthier future for our planet, and they will make you feel the same. 2023, we're ready. 

1. Putting on notice 9 French companies  

In September 2022, Surfrider Foundation, Client Earth & Zero Waste France put on notice 9 French companies for their plastic use. We received answers from these companies regretting this decision. We deemed these replies unsatisfactory and we’re hoping that with the New Year ahead we will see substantial change.  

2. The Single Use Plastics Directive further implemented 

Following our joint report assessing the implementation of the Single Use Plastics Directive across different European countries, concrete action has been taken to make sure the law is respected. The European Commission has initiated several infringement cases against Member States. 


3. Working behind the scenes on the UN International Plastic Treaty 

A historical decision emerged from the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi in March 2022. The International Plastic Treaty offers a key opportunity to eliminate plastic waste and pollution on a global scale. The mandate signed by UN member states opens the door to a legally binding treaty that deals with the root causes of plastic pollution, not just the symptoms. 

4. The One Ocean Summit recognized The Green Marine Europe Label 

In February 2022, our label for a greener shipping sector caught the attention of decision makers at the UN assembly in Brest, France. 

5. Continued development of a network uniting over 100 young Europeans from 27 countries 

Surfrider's Eurocean's Youth Network has worked on 12 policy recommendations for a more sustainable future for the Ocean. Representatives participated in European & International events to make their messages heard by decision makers.  

View: The Eurocean’s Youth video presentation  

6. The inclusion of "biocarriers" in the EU wastewater treatment directive 

Used in wastewater treatment plants to clean up sewage, biomedia are one of the most effective technologies in the wastewater treatment market. However, filter media are a threat to the ocean and source of a large-scale plastic pollution. For the first time, the EU introduced this problem in the wastewater treatment directive, a first step towards measures that will put an end to this pollution.

Read: Why are biomedia an environmental plague? 


7. EU packaging waste regulation including target reduction & reuse

In November 2022, as part of the EU Green Deal, the commission proposed new rules preventing packaging waste, boosting reuse and refill, and making all packaging recyclable by 2030. 

Read : Two new European texts with high potential to protect the ocean from plastic pollution 


8. Coastal defender cases resonating : Brétignolles, Rosignano Solvay & Dutch IJmond 

The Coastal Defenders fought for the protection of the Ocean in different areas of Europe. Cases of pollution in Italy and the Netherlands have been highlighted at EU Ocean Week in Brussels in June 2022. The Nantes court also confirmed the remarkable character of Brétignolles area - a recognition that blocks any current and future putting a stop to any other port project on the coastal zone. 

Read: The Brétignolles case victory

In the aftermath of these critical wins, we at Surfrider are looking forward to more positive developments in 2023! 

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