Groningen Journal of International Law

International Law Under Construction

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The Legal Framework for the activities of the Ocean Cleanup: the freedom to use the high seas to protect and preserve the marine environment

Talitha Ramphal

1.         Introduction

Plastic marine litter is growing, negatively affecting ecosystems, biodiversity and human health globally, and luckily awareness of this issue has grown as well on the international stage. For example, the EU adopted the Single Use Plastic Directive, which states in its preamble that the ‘Union must play its part in preventing and tackling marine litter and aim to be a standard setter for the world’. With this Directive, the EU aims to achieve an ambitious and sustained reduction of single-use plastic products within its Member States. The private sector also pursues another way to tackle this issue, e.g., the  Ocean Cleanup, which is a foundation registered in the Netherlands that develops technologies to clean up ocean plastic pollution.

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