Collaboration of scientists, NGOs and businesses for a plastic-free Mediterranean Sea

, Courtial Lucile, Le Texier Marie, Mauvais Manon.

Numerous initiatives aim to prevent plastic pollution in the Mediterranean Sea. Yet, this semi-enclosed sea has the highest plastic density in the world. The precise impacts of this pollution, especially from microplastics, are still unknown. Compagnies are still partly unaware of the various existing solutions. To be able to deal with these issues, the BeMed Business Club allows companies to improve their practices through enhanced collaboration with scientists, NGOs and across the value chain. As such, the Club paves the way to social change with the help of sound scientific support (INRA, IRD, CNRS, ENSAM). Through two working groups, the Club combines project implementation and scientific work. In the pilot project working group, companies around the Mediterranean basin implement concrete solutions in the field supported by BeMed's network of local stakeholders and experts. Within the science – industry dialogue working group, scientists share their knowledge with compagnies from the entire chain – producers, brand owners, retailers and waste management compagnies – for them to develop relevant and optimized alternatives to plastic to decrease their plastic footprint. Since January and despite the coronavirus crisis, five major companies from various sectors – food and beverage, cosmetics, tourism, waste management – have already joined the Club. The first pilot project on plastic reduction in the tourism sector will be implemented in 2021 in Marseille in collaboration with local stakeholders. Simultaneously, compagnies are working hand in hand with scientists on including the end-of-life of a product in the evaluation of the environmental impacts of alternatives. This work defines common ground base knowledge for their activities. Through this unique science – industry - NGO collaboration, solutions will emerge and be implemented for a plastic-free Mediterranean. The success of the Club's objectives relies on the scientists and compagnies' wish to take part in this innovative collaboration.

View online