The "No Plastic to the Sea Conference" was a succes!

KIMO's 30 November's conference entitled: "No Plastic to the Sea", on actions needed to tackle the #PlasticPollution of our #rivers that eventually ends up as #MarineLitter, was a great succes! The conference was organised by #KIMO the Netherlands/Belgium and was supported by Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) part of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, and the international branch of the Dutch Association of Municipalities (VNG International).

KIMO, the Local Authorities Environmental Organisation of NW European municipalities, works already for over 25 year on solutions to tackle the vast problem of pollution of the NW-European seas. The key solution to the problem of plastic pollution is achieving a #CircularEconomy in which plastic waste is regarded to be a resource that is upcycled. When that however is not possible, the plastics that are present in the riverine and marine environments need to be capable of degrading entirely into CO2 and water.

After the welcome address by KIMO's president Robert te Beest, there were great speeches delivered by e.g. the #PlasticSoupSurfer #MerijnTinga, Prof. #DickVethaak of Deltares/IVM-VU and Frederieke Knopperts and Karen van Burg both of the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. Next, interesting presentations were delivered by #GerardPost jr. of #VNG (Association of Dutch Municipalities, international branch) and Jos Penninx president of #VNR (Association of Dutch Riverine Municipalities). By means of these presentations a picture was drawn of the sense of urgency of the problem, the scientific rationale and actions being taken and being prepared from the continental international to the local levels.

With the previous information as rich input, next, 4 workshops were held focusing on how to tackle the plastic pollution of our rivers which led to great ideas to take approaches further. The workshops on tackling the plastic pollution in rivers had 4 themes: "Generating and keeping political support", "The best components of a communications strategy", "Addressing the sources of plastic pollution" and last but not least "A plastic Free Haringvliet Estuary". A number of participants of these workgroups will continue cooperation on specific themes ("generating and keeping political support" and "the plastic free Haringvliet Estuary"), which was exactly what we hoped for.

It was a pleasure to organise and moderate this event on behalf of KIMO NL/B, #VNGi and #RWS and I look forward to further steps to tackle this huge problem! All participants are thanked for their valuable contribution! In case you would like to have more information do not hesitate to contact KIMO the Netherlands/Belgium