Zero waste at the coast: Lessons on waste prevention for policy-makers

Date: 17th May 2023
Time: 09:00 – 12:30
Location: TOPOS Parlement, Rue d’Arlon 25, 1050 Ixelles, Brussels Belgium

It is increasingly common knowledge now that our overconsumption and overproduction of resources is simply not compatible with a safe and healthy planet. Our current system results in vast amounts of waste being produced from materials that are specifically designed for single-use,  most notably plastic, which is having disastrous effects on our environment.

Yet the availability of solutions and the knowledge on how to implement them remain far below the level needed to begin to tackle this challenge, particularly in regions that face embedded difficulties due to the economy or cultural traditions, such as coastal areas that receive high levels of tourism.

Join us in Brussels during the morning of Wednesday 17th May, for an in-person event where we’ll be looking at some of Europe’s best practice initiatives on waste prevention, implemented by coastal municipalities and regions. The event will bring together local actors who have been behind these best practices with representatives from Brussels, to better understand how local actions can inform key upcoming legislative decisions on plastic waste.

The conference is particularly timely, given the upcoming discussions around 2 key pieces of legislation that will impact plastic waste generation, the major source of marine-based pollution – the EU Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) and the second round of negotiations for the UN’s global plastics treaty.

The conference is hosted by Zero Waste Europe and Break Free From Plastic on behalf of the Interreg Europe funded CAPonLITTER project, which aims to convene coastal stakeholders in 7 regions (found in Bulgaria, Croatia, France,  Germany, Greece, Portugal and Spain) to improve public policies that result in the prevention of marine litter. The project involves authorities and organisations from territories in which coastal tourism is a key economic activity, which is not only highly impacted by marine pollution but can also put significant pressure on local infrastructure and municipal budgets.

During the conference, project partners will present on their action plans that have informed regional public policies on better waste prevention of key fractions of waste, such as plastic food and drink containers originating from beach facilities and recreational events. These discussions will then provide the framework for a policy-based panel looking at how to turn these best practice initiatives into ambitious legislative goals for the rest of Europe to follow. We’ll gather together some of Europe’s leading figures on this topic to examine what legislation we need, and how the legislation can be implemented on the ground, to accelerate the transition away from single-use to reuse.

Lead contacts

Jack McQuibban, Head of Local Zero Waste Implementation, [email protected]

Manon Jourdan, Implementation Officer, [email protected] 



Welcome, tea/coffee, registration


Introduction to the event and presentation of the Cap on litter project

José Carlos Ferreira

Professor at NOVA University Lisbon

José Carlos Ferreira is a Professor at NOVA University Lisbon, NOVA School of Science and Technology (FCT NOVA) and a researcher at MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Center (MARE)/ARNET. He holds a PhD in Environment and Sustainability, esp. in Environmental Engineering and Sustainability, M.Sc. in Physical Geography and Environment and B.Sc. in Geography and Regional Planning, var. Physical Geography. His research activity is carried out within environmental planning, green and blue infrastructures, ecosystem-based management, strategies to adapt to an uncertain climate change, public policies for more sustainable and resilient coastal communities and ocean literacy. José is the CAPonLITTER Project Coordinator.


Overview of the Interreg Europe programme

Anne Rocheteau

Finance Officer, Joint Secretariat – Interreg Europe

Anne is responsible for support to applicants and project partners as well as for the assessment of applications and finance monitoring. She has experience working with several EU funding programmes from partner organizations in Spain, France, Ireland and other non EU countries in the field of international cooperation. She holds a Master degree in international relations. Anne is the finance officer in charge of monitoring CAPonLITTER project at the Joint Secretariat.


Panel 1: What are some best practices of waste prevention by coastal municipalities and what was their recipe for success?

Stefanie Werner

Federal Environment Agency (UBA), department protection of the oceans and polar regions

Stefanie Werner works for the Federal Environment Agency (UBA) in the department protection of the oceans and polar regions. She studied Geography, Biology, Journalism and European Environmental Law. One focus of her work concerns strategies to combat marine litter. In this context she coordinates the German Round Table on Marine Litter ( and is intensively involved in the implementation of the Regional Action Plans on Marine Litter for the Northeast-Atlantic and the Baltic Sea. As a research diver, she takes part in scientific and removal activities, e.g. for ghost nets.

Isabelle Poitou

Biologist in Urban Planning and Development

Isabelle Poitou is a specialist in the characterization of solid and visible abandoned waste that can end up in the aquatic environment. Based in Marseille, she created the association MerTerre in 2000, entirely dedicated to the resolution of this problem. Isabelle is an expert for the French government, which she has accompanied since 2009 in the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive on marine waste. Within MerTerre, she conducts studies and programs for a concerted management of this particular and atypical pollution. She is co-author of the book on marine litter, Une mer propre, mission impossible? 70 clés pour comprendre les déchets en mer.

Isabel Moura

Senior Officer Department of Foreign Affairs - Portuguese Environment Agency (APA)

As a Chemical Engineer in Industry and Processes, Isabel has more than 30 years of experience in QA/QC, analytical and instrumental method development, validation and implementation in inorganic chemistry field (metals) including environmental sampling. Isabel is the coordinator for MSFD descriptor 10 Monitoring program on beach macrolitter. She is part of OSPAR Intersessional Correspondence Group and MSFD TGML, as well as the Portuguese group to develop a Global Instrument on plastic pollution.

Andrea Poldrugovac

Expert Associate, IRENA

Andrea Poldrugovac obtained his Master's degree in Economics from the University of Rijeka. Since 2018 he is employed at IRENA - Istrian Regional Energy Agency and works mainly on the preparation and implementation of projects co-financed by the EU. His main interests concern topics of energy efficiency, renewable energy technologies and the overall preservation of the environment. In the field related to preventing marine litter, IRENA participates actively in two projects, Interreg Europe project CAPonLITTER and Interreg Italy-Croatia project MARLESS.

Yaiza Fernández-Palacios

Researcher at IU-ECOAQUA (ULPGC)

Yaiza holds a PhD in Marine Sciences from the ULPGC. Her research interests include sustainability of coastal and marine systems, Integrated Coastal Zone Management, and sustainability assessment through indicator systems. Dissemination and awareness raising are always present in her work, to contribute to sustainability through ocean literacy. She is also increasingly involved in blue economy and maritime spatial planning processes both in the Macaronesian Region and European dimension. Responsible tourism, as a key component of the blue economy in Europe, has a strong relation to environmental conservation of coasts and seas; participative processes have demonstrated to be a key element for its improvement.

Eleni Tzagkaraki

Head of civil protection of Heraklion in the Region of Crete

Eleni is an Architect holding a M.Sc in Environmental Planning of Cities and Buildings. Her experience lays in designing and constructing public education and health buildings applying principles of bioclimatic design. The last three years, she has held the position of head of civil protection in the Regional Unit of Heraklion in the Region of Crete.

Venceslava Yanchovska

Manager at Norwegian state agency - Innovation Norway

Venceslava Yanchovska is an economist with extensive experience in banking, financial instruments, SMEs and entrepreneurship development, programmes and projects' management. Venceslava is heading the office in Sofia of the Norwegian state agency Innovation Norway. Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government’s main instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry, both domestic and abroad. Together with her colleagues from the EEA Grants team in Oslo, Venceslava is involved in the administration of programmes in Bulgaria, part of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism (Norway Grants).


Break with tea/coffee & snacks


Panel 2: How can we best shape key pieces of upcoming legislation to allow more of these best practices to flourish?

Dr Eleni Hatziyanni,

Policy Officer, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, European Commission

Eleni Hatziyanni is a Policy Officer at the European Commission - DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. She contributes to the development of the Sustainable Blue Economy, with a focus on the Mediterranean Basin and the European Strategy of Adriatic Ionian Region (EUSAIR). Eleni holds a Ph.D. and a M.Sc. in Marine Biology-Marine Ecology, a M.Sc. in European Politics and Governance and a Diploma in Geology.

Mustafa Aydin

Zero Pollution Expert, PhD, European Environment Agency

Mustafa Aydin is an environmental expert in earth system sciences on source-to-sea marine litter assessments, with a Ph.D in the subject. For more than twenty years, he worked in all scales of the environmental field, from policy to data and assesments. At the EEA, Mustafa’s core work is the monitoring and assessment of the EU Zero Pollution Action Plan. He provides timely and actionable knowledge to policymakers on marine and freshwater pollution, impacts of the maritime transport sector on marine ecosystems, plastic pollution and marine litter, aiming to help create a toxic-free environment.

Larissa Copello

Consumption & Production Campaigner, ZWE

Larissa Copello is a Policy Campaigner at Zero Waste Europe, working within the Consumption & Production programme. She works on upstream solutions to avoid creating waste in the first place by advocating on prevention, reuse and sustainable design measures, as well as promoting zero waste business models. She has a background in law.

Romane Colleu

EU policy advisor, Citeo

Romane joined the public policy affairs department of Citeo in 2021, after experiences in the high administration and law firms specialized in European law and Environmental law. She works very closely with all the actors of the packaging value chain in particular on the Circular Economy Package, the European plastics strategy, the circular plastic alliance, the national pacts on plastic packaging, the new circular economy action plan within the European Green Deal. She graduated from the Paris 1 Sorbonne University (Master in European Economic Law) and holds a lawyer certification from the Paris Bar Association.

Paula Sobral

Associate Professor at NOVA School of Science & Technology

Paula is a Biologist, has a PhD in Environmental Sciences, is currently an Associate Professor with Habilitation on Environmental Sciences at NOVA School of Science and Technology, and finally a researcher at MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre working on marine litter and microplastics sources and sinks, as well as the effects of microplastics contamination on marine organisms. She has coordinated and participated in various research projects on microplastics since 2008. She is a designated expert on microplastics for the Portuguese Science Foundation (FCT), she has collaborated onto the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive, and integrates the pool of experts of United Nations 2nd World Ocean Assessment.


Final conclusions & wrap up

Lia T. Vasconceles

Professor at NOVA School of Science and Technology

Lia T. Vasconceles - PhD. in Environmental Engineering - Social Systems (1997); Master in Community Planning (1982), University of Rhode Island; Architect (1977) - is a Professor at NOVA School of Science and Technology and Researcher at MARE - Marine and Environmental Sciences Centre, where she is the coordinator of the Research Thematic Line – Governance and Literacy. Her work focuses on innovative decision-making processes, namely developing methodologies to involve and mobilize stakeholders in participatory processes. She has coordinated national and international projects, particularly within the collaborative componente, having received several awards and recognitions: Prize of Iconic Women Creating a Better World for All - Associations that Work 2019; Responsible Research Innovation 2015; Significant Participatory Practives, Prize of Collaborative Research 2013-2014 and Communication Award 2013.


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