MarineClean meeting in Beli Manastir

On April 19th, EcoCortec d.o.o., one of the most advanced manufacturers of biodegra-dable packaging in Europe, welcomed an international consortium of representatives of the Marine Clean project.

Two days of meetings covered progress reports on work that has been carried out in the first six months of the project. Plans for future work also have been set.

After the official program, the first day of meeting a visit to the EcoCortec plant was organized. Boris Mikšić, owner and the President of the Bord, welcomed our guests and then presented biodegradable film production capabilities and EcoCortec’s world-class laboratory.

Project summary

Project MarineClean (11/2011 – 10/2014) involves partners from Slovenia, Croatia and Lithuania. The project deals with decreasing of marine litter – one of the major ecological threats – in four areas of action:

  1. collection of marine litter with new light equipment produced at Turna;
  2. edible and biodegradable packaging produced at EcoCortec that will help to reduce the quantities of in marine litter due to degradability;
  3. fishing nets produced at Turna and TC PoliEko that can be easily traced, collected and recycled when lost;
  4. networking of products’ users and lobbying at national and EU decision-makers to promote and enlarge eco-friendly products usage as well as for intensified surveillance in the return of ship waste and for grants and/or discounts with edible and biodegradable packaging will be formed.

Proposed solutions will have positive effect on marine ecology: decreasing of marine litter in tested areas, higher number of cleaning groups/areas, higher share of edible/biodegradable packaging on ships, and a few of law changing proposals. All project products will be widely disseminated through web platforms and demonstration sessions in each participating country.

Project background

Marine littering is one of the major ecological threats. The amount of plastic
floating in oceans is increasing; in some parts of oceans there are already 6
times more small plastic parts than plankton. Plastic floating in sea is great
absorber of heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs and other toxins that accumulate in
marine animals and consequently in humans. Toxins are good for some algae,
which are so widespread in some areas that other organisms lack of oxygen.
Bio-oxo or UV-degradable plastic is not a solution, because sea water inhibits
degradation and plastics is stable, maybe up to 100 years. Share of ship
littering is variable throughout the World, ranging from 35 to 85%. The
remaining shares come from rivers, wind and lost fishing nets. Other problems
are spillages of different oils that cannot be solved by expensive cleaning
with pumping and filtering in tankers or degradation with microorganisms.

Kick-off meeting

Kick-off meeting was held on 10th November 2011 in Technology Centre PoliEko, Celje, Slovenia. There were representatives of all project partners and they presented their organizations.

The complicity of the MarineClean project and workplan structure (workpackages, involvement of each partner, deliverables of the project, time sheet and milestones) was explained in the presentation. Afterwards, detailed presentation of each WP was prepared by the WP leaders.

Mr. Miha Gerold presented WP1 and WP2 as Turna is leading these two WP.

Ms. Janja France presented WP3 as NIB‐MBS is leading this WP.

Ms. Urška Kropf presented WP4 and WP5 as TC PoliEko is leading these two WP.

Mr. Mladen Šercer presented WP6 and WP7 as UZ FMENA is leading these activities.

In addition, financial issues of the project according to Grant Agreement and Financial Guidelines were explained (accounting documents, time sheets, eligible costs, specific cost categories, and allocation of each cost category to each project partner).

Project management structure and proposal for steering committee (SC) was proposed and it was confirmed by all project partners. SC consists of one person representing each project partner: Mr. Vladimir Pogač (Turna), Ms. Janja France (NIB‐MBS), Ms. Roma Stubrienė (KSTP), Mr. Vytautas Smailys (KU‐APS), Ms. Mirjana Fesel (Drava), Ms. Ivana Radić Boršić (EcoCortec), Mr. Janez Navodnik (TC PoliEko), and Mr. Mladen Šercer (UZ FMENA).

The action plan inside each WP for the first 6 months was proposed and discussed by project partners.

The meeting came to an end with the proposal of venues and dates for the next meetings of the project consortium.