TouMaLi (Tourism Marine Litter) – Contribution of sustainable waste management systems in the tourism sector
Context and objectives
Globally, an estimated 4.8 million tons of solid waste are generated annually by international tourism alone. Solid waste is nowadays one of the most relevant environmental challenges linked to touristic activities, especially considering the persistent use by tourism establishments of nonessential single-use goods and packaging as part of their activities.
In the Mediterranean, tackling the challenge of solid waste in MENA country coastal tourist destinations is particularly important, given the added touristic pressure experienced by these areas and their important economic role at local and national level. Furthermore, pollution from solid waste and marine litter, including macro and micro-plastics, are major challenges in the Mediterranean.
The overall goal of the project is to minimize the volume of waste from the tourism sector in the target countries – namely Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt – and to recycle and reuse unavoidable waste in order to sustainably reduce the overall amount of marine and beach litter and to protect marine and coastal ecosystems. TouMaLi assesses the quantities and main sources of marine litter in target tourism destinations and provides sustainable solutions in the relevant countries. Project activities will focus on the following areas:
- Preventing the production of waste, in particular plastic waste.
- Ensuring orderly collection and registration of waste, and where possible high-quality material recycling.
- Reducing the input of plastic waste from other significant point sources.
- Building relevant capacities in the partner countries.
- Reducing the total net mass of plastic or other litter (kg) entering the natural environment.
- Reducing the number of plastic particles per volume of water (including microplastics).
- Preventing litter discharges that pose a threat to particularly ecologically valuable marine and coastal areas/or to particularly endangered marine species
The project supports implementation of the UfM GreenerMed Agenda (UfM Environment Agenda) and the Sustainable Blue Economy Roadmap associated, respectively, to the UfM Ministerial Declaration on ENV and CC and the Ministerial Declaration on Sustainable Blue economy.
University of Rostock
Total budget / grant provided by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection of Germany: 4.231.539,78 EUR
University of Rostock: The University of Rostock leads projects and establishes networks in areas related to waste management, among others. The department of waste and resource management of the University of Rostock has regional, national and international long-term experience in the fields of waste management and circular economy and supports the project through its expertise in collection, pre-treatment, and treatment of different types of waste.
A network of all countries involved in the project will be established, consisting of decisionmakers, experts from different sectors (especially tourism industry), specialists, university professors, the private sector and students. Afterwards, this network will be expanded to become a permanent platform at the regional level.
Marine litter quantities, composition and sources will be determined and documented. The results provide an insight into major sources as well as major litter items. This serves as basis for the provision of sustainable litter management solutions and for the assessment of the success of these solutions.
Legal, institutional and technical solutions will be developed to be adopted and applied at pilot projects level in the countries involved and in line with the local conditions in each of these countries.
Training and capacity building programs will be held for the concerned staff in the field of waste management at all levels through targeted workshops.
The project framework as well as its objectives, benefits and outcomes will be disseminated locally, regionally and internationally using various media.
Several job opportunities in the tourism and recycling sector will be created by this project, in addition to organizing and improving the working conditions of the informal sector in the field of waste management.
Establishment of comprehensive communication and cooperation structures on national and local level. Provision of background data on the present state of pollution, waste management and recycling as well as data analysis for the entire project work.
Based on legal, institutional, financing and technical waste management concepts and under involvement of stakeholders and the industry, overall waste management and litter reduction strategies are developed for each local pilot area.
Development and implementation in the pilot areas of EPR concepts addressing at national level the products likely to end up as marine litter. By developing financial mechanisms, assigning clear roles and responsibilities and designing waste reverse chains, EPR will benefit the tourism sector.
Development and implementation of a transferable long-term citizen science marine litter beach monitoring programme, provision of beach and water pollution assessments and identification of litter sources as basis for the evaluation of the efficiency of waste reduction measures.
Development of financial and technical concepts and strategies for separated recyclable waste streams in the tourism industry, as well as their implementation in the three pilot projects in the target regions.
Dissemination of project results and provision of awareness rising and capacity building activities on marine litter and waste management in cooperation with local actors as well as activities to enable project impacts beyond the project duration and beyond the pilot areas.