The EU project REMEDIES investigates the plastic and microplastic pollution in the Mediterranean region

The European Union has launched a new Horizon mission programme that aims to restore, protect, and maintain the health of our oceans, seas, and waters by 2030. The mission aims to achieve the European Union's established and measurable 2030 targets for the protection and restoration of ecosystems and biodiversity with pollution prevention and decarbonisation measures, as well as reducing net greenhouse gas emissions towards climate neutrality in the EU's oceans, seas, and waters. The mission supports many of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In particular, the newly launched REMEDIES project focuses on the restoration of our oceans and waters (SDG 14), provision of clean water (SDG 6), as well as measures that contribute to climate protection (SDG 13).

The REMEDIES project will be implemented over the next four years by 21 pan-European and one African organisation. The consortium is coordinated by the National Institute of Chemistry in Slovenia and builds its innovation actions around the three main pillars: monitoring plastic waste, plastic collection and valorisation, and preventing the proliferation of non-degradable plastics.

Twelve breakthrough innovations, including the detection and removal of microplastics in and from wastewater, will be developed over the next four years. Here, the REMEDIES project specifically focuses on technology development from validation and demonstration in the relevant environment to demonstration of the system prototype in the operational environment (i.e. TRL 5-7). All innovative solutions will be tested at nine demonstration sites in eight Mediterranean countries. After validation, they will be extended to 33 new sites to be implemented throughout the Mediterranean region.

REMEDIES therefore aims to create a sustainable change towards plastic prevention by using traditional and modern communication channels and promoting participatory processes through Citizen Science to develop a more plastic-conscious society. To achieve the ambitious goals of the project consortium, the following specific objectives are to be achieved over the next four years:

  • Monitoring of macro- and microplastic waste in eight Mediterranean areas.
  • Collection and recycling of >422 tonnes of plastic waste.
  • Preventing the dumping of the equivalent of >61 tonnes of plastic.