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German Federal Ministry for the Environment launches call for funding programme against marine litter

Projects that actively contribute to the sustainable production, distribution and use of plastic products and thus to preventing the discharge of waste into the oceans can now apply.

To protect the oceans, the Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMUV) is today launching the third funding call for its programme against marine litter. Projects that actively contribute to the sustainable production, distribution and use of plastic products and thus to preventing the discharge of waste into the oceans are now eligible to apply. Also eligible are projects that ensure orderly waste management with environmentally sound disposal and recycling structures in countries of the global South. The BMUV is providing a total of around 25 million euros per year for the third funding round of the programme. Marine litter is one of the world's greatest environmental challenges. Plastic waste in particular causes considerable environmental damage.

Every year, about 13 million tonnes of plastic waste end up in the oceans. The impacts are significant: the plastic in the oceans not only endangers marine life, but also enters the food chain and impairs the performance of marine ecosystems as a whole. Estimations say that the annual plastic input into the oceans will more than double by 2040. The Marine Debris Framework - Regional hubs around the globe (Marine:DeFRAG) programme aims to counteract this damage to nature and the basics of human life and economic activity.

It promotes measures that prevent waste from the outset and, if possible, start at the beginning of the value chain, for example in product design. In addition, the programme supports the short-term establishment of functioning waste and cycle management systems for unavoidable waste. Central aspects of the funding are transferability, connectivity and the continuity of the selected approaches. The funding programme supports projects on policy advice, capacity building, technology cooperation and investments as well as the implementation of the respective institutional framework. In addition to riparian states of polluted rivers, the focus is on coastal regions and island states.

Special funding interest for the 2022 call exists in projects with the following focus:

  • Sustainable material alternatives, innovative product design and digitalisation in the life cycle
  • Establishment and further development of reuse systems
  • Awareness and behaviour change for marine litter prevention
  • Circular economy and (decentralised) waste management in rural regions and Small Island Developing States
  • Prevention of microplastic inputs into the oceans via various vectors, including water and wastewater management

To whom is the funding programme aimed at?

  • The programme is for federal implementing organisations, non-governmental organisations, commercial enterprises, universities and research institutions, German offshoots of international and multilateral organisations and institutions based in Germany. German applicants can cooperate with international partners for implementation.
  • In the first step of the two-stage selection process, the review of the submitted project outlines takes place. Subsequently, the selected projects undergo a detailed application procedure. The project outlines can be submitted online to Zukunft - Umwelt - Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH as the responsible project management organisation by 7 January 2023 at the latest.


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Grant Programme against Marine Litter

Marine Litter