Greek LIFE Task Force - LIFE Capacity Building

Single-use plastics: New EU rules to reduce marine litter

Brussels, 28 May 2018

Questions & Answers

Why is the Commission proposing a new Directive to tackle marine litter?

More than 80% of marine litter is plastics. The European Commission is proposing new EU-wide rules that target the 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas, as well as lost and abandoned fishing gear. These products are the biggest part of the problem. Together they constitute 70% of all marine litter items.

Due to its slow decomposition, plastic accumulates in seas, oceans and on beaches in the EU and worldwide. Plastic residues are found in marine species – such as sea turtles, seals, whales and birds, but also in fish and shellfish, and therefore in the human food chain. While plastics are a convenient, adaptable, useful and economically valuable material, they need to be better used, re-used and recycled. When littered, the economic impact of plastics encompasses not just the lost economic value in the material, but also the costs of cleaning up and losses for tourism, fisheries and shipping.

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Circular Economy: New rules will make EU the global front-runner in waste management and recycling

Today EU Member States approved a set of ambitious measures to make EU waste legislation fit for the future, as part of the EU's wider circular economy policy.

The new rules - based on Commission's proposals part of the Circular Economy package presented in December 2015 - will help to prevent waste and, where this is not possible, significantly step up recycling of municipal and packaging waste. It will phase out landfilling and promote the use of economic instruments, such as Extended Producer Responsibility schemes. The new legislation strengthens the "waste hierarchy", i.e. it requires Member States to take specific measures to prioritize prevention, re-use and recycling above landfilling and incineration, thus making the circular economy a reality.

Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said: "The final approval of new EU waste rules by the Council marks an important moment for the circular economy in Europe. The new recycling and landfilling targets set a credible and ambitious path for better waste management in Europe. Our main task now is to ensure that the promises enshrined in this waste package are delivered on the ground. The Commission will do all it can to support Member States and make the new legislation deliver on the ground."

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Vote for your favourite LIFE green city project!

Pick your favourite green city project and meet its pioneers at EU Green Week 2018. The European Commission has shortlisted 6 finalists among 62 best LIFE projects. The votes will be collected votes until 25 April to choose this years People's Choice Award:

  • Clean Air: A breath of fresh air
  • PERHT: Green mobility hubs in historic towns
  • Housing Landscapes: Making social housing climate-proof
  • AIRUSE: Cleaner air for Southern European cities
  • URBANCOWS: A perfect balance between urban beaches, lagoons and cows
  • EKO-LIFE: Green up your life by eating and moving differently

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Public Consultation for the EU Innovation Fund, 15/01/18 - 10/04/18

The EU emissions trading system (ETS) after 2020 foresees the establishment of the Innovation Fund to accelerate the commercialisation of low-carbon technologies.

The Fund will support innovation in low-carbon technologies, processes and products in industrial sectors listed in Annex I of the EU ETS Directive. The Fund should stimulate the construction and operation of projects that aim at the environmentally safe capture, use of CO2 (CCU) and its geological storage (CCS), as well as innovative renewable energy and energy storage technologies in the territory of the European Union. Technologies receiving support should not be commercially available but shall be sufficiently mature to be ready for demonstration at pre-commercial scale.

The public consultation on the establishment of the Innovation Fund started on the 15th January 2018 and will last until the 10th of April. All stakeholders interested can take active part in the public consultation by completing the questionnaire available in this link.

LIFE Information Day 2018

Save the date! 04 May 2018, in Brussels

The European Commission is organising an Information & Networking Day on the 2018 LIFE call for project proposals.

The event is open to potential applicants presenting project proposals on green technology, nature protection and climate action. Participants will be invited to a morning information session on the 2018 LIFE call, covering significant changes to the programme compared to previous years.

The afternoon will be dedicated to networking with fellow participants to share experience, match with potential new partners and meet representatives of the LIFE programme from the European Commission.


Compulsory registration for the event will open in spring 2018.


The LIFE Information Day will take place at the European Commission's Charlemagne Building on rue de la Loi 170, 1000 Brussels.

European Workshop "Resource Efficiency in the Manufacturing Industry", 24 November 2017, Berlin

1st European Resource Efficiency Workshop "Resource Efficiency in the Manufacturing Industry – Methods, tools and good practices"

On 24 November 2017, from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm, in Berlin 

Hosted by the VDI Centre for Resource Efficiency in the framework of the European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre, an initiative of the European Commission

Please find the workshop agenda attached

Please register for the event until 20 November 2017. This workshop will gather around 30 representatives of business support organisations, including established and prospective providers of resource efficiency advisory and consulting services from European countries and regions in the process of setting up resource efficiency services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

Festival on Waste Prevention and Recycling in the context of the European Week for Waste Reduction - 4th Forum of LIFE REWEEE

Villa Kazouli in Kifissia will turn into a surprise villa on Sunday 19th and Monday 20th of November 2017. Theatrical performances, educational games, paintings, handmade products workshops, exhibitions, concerts and speeches regarding prevention and recycling of waste will complement the 2 days event.
On Sunday 19th of November, from 15:00 – 20:00, children and adults will have fun through interactive learning of smart ways to reduce their waste, enjoying music, beautiful handmade products from recyclable materials, social performances, etc.
On Monday 20th of November, the “4th Consultation Forum on Waste Prevention and Recycling” in the framework of the LIFE RE-WEEE project shall be launched. The Forum  will be held from 10:30 - 14:00. Very interesting speeches from experts in the field are expected to raise awareness and provide source for thought to the participating audience.

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Participation of the GR LTF in the ‘European Funds – Opportunities for Small & Medium Entreprises (SMES), Entrepreneurs and Youth’ Workshop

The Greek LIFE Task Force (GR LTF) participates in the workshop ‘European Funds – Opportunities for Small & Medium Entreprises (SMES), Entrepreneurs and Youth’, organized by the Hellenic-Spanish Chamber of Commerce.

The workshop took place in the afternoon of the 28th September in the premises of the Cervantes Institute at Kolonaki, with an attendance of more than 40 participants, most of them SMEs and entrepreneurs. In the context of the workshop many European programmes and funding tools have been presented, such as Horizon’s SME Instrument, the priority sectors of H2020 programme, the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action focusing on the opportunities it offers for the development and establishment for ‘close to market’ solutions, and other funds for entrepreneurs and StartUps (European Program Erasmus etc.).

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Member States to benefit from over €222 million investments for environment, nature and climate action

European Commission - Press release

Brussels, 28 September 2017

The European Commission has approved an investment package of €222 million from the EU budget to support Europe's transition to more sustainable and low-carbon future under the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action.

The EU funding will mobilise additional investments leading to a total of €379 million going towards 139 new projects in 20 Member States.

Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Karmenu Vella said: "In its 25th year, the LIFE programme continues to invest in innovative projects with high added value for people, businesses and nature. I am delighted to see that the programme transforms close-to-market technologies into new, green business.”

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Natura 2000 Awards - Deadline extended until 15 October

The European Commission launched the Natura 2000 Award to celebrate and promote best practices for nature conservation in Europe. Any entity involved in activities related to Natura 2000 can apply to one of the five Award categories:

-Socio-Economic Benefits
-Reconciling Interests / Perceptions
-Cross-border Cooperation and Networking.

In addition, the high-profile “EU Citizens’ Award” goes to the application receiving the highest number of nominations through a public vote on the Award website.

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