EU backs fisheries-focused plastics recovery project in Hainan

Published on
April 5, 2021

A pilot program in Hainan, China, training fishermen to fish plastic from the ocean has been backed by the European Union.

The “No Plastic, Healthy Oceans” project is training local fishery cooperatives to bring plastic back to fishery ports for proper disposal, as part of an E.U. regional program to reduce plastic flows into Asia’s oceans.

Fishery-focused non-governmental organization China Blue has helped recruit local fishermen to participate in the program, according to the group’s director, Han Han.

“It’s still a sort of social experiment to see if there is an effective mechanism to mobilize fishers to help reduce plastics in the ocean,” Han told SeafoodSource.

Sanya Yazhou Central Fishing Port and Sanya Yufeng Fishermen Professional Cooperative have become the first “demonstration” fishing crews and fishing ports in Hainan participating in the project, and have recently been featured in local media for organized plastic collection and disposal. Several local government departments are also involved in the pilot.

A parallel project by the name of “Rethinking Plastics,” co-financed by the E.U. and the German Ministry of Cooperation and Development, is being delivered by GIZ and Expertise France. With a budget of EUR 10 million (EUR 8.5 million) and offices in China, Indonesia, and Vietnam, the project aims to “support the transition to a more circular economy and reduce plastic waste” in seven countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The project does so by “reinforcing capacities” in local governments while also “exchanging good practices,” according to the its website.

In part due to incomplete waste collection and management systems, Asian developing countries have been the greatest source of global plastic waste entering marine environments. China has introduced several policies to reduce the use of plastic waste and has barred imports of plastic waste for recycling.

Photo courtesy of Andreas Rose/Shutterstock

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