Action 49: Expanded polystyrene
Action Title: Investigate the prevalence and impact of expanded polystyrene (EPS) in the marine environment, and engage with industry to make proposals for alternative materials and/or how to reduce its impacts.
Lead Party(ies): Portugal with participation from Spain, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Ireland
What is the issue?
Plastic foam products made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) are amongst the top 10 items of marine litter found on European beach litter surveys.
Expanded polystyrene (EPS) and Extruded polystyrene (XPS) are used globally in the composition of several products, such as fish and sea-food boxes, hot drinks cups, single-use food boxes and trays, packaging of electronic appliances and other fragile or temperature sensitive products, insulation for buildings, floating structures in the sea, amongst other uses.
What has OSPAR Done?
This action has been implemented through the OceanWise project funded by INTERREG Atlantic Area by France, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and the UK. The project aims to look at how to prevent EPS and EXS entering the marine environment and how it can be kept within the system (circular economy). Deliverables from this project are due in 2021/2022.
Final outputs and published reports
TO BE COMPLETED IN 2022
OSPAR is on the Advisory Board of the EU INTERREG funded OceanWise project which will contribute to the development of this action.
The OceanWise project kicked off in 2018 and will run until 2020.