ESPO backs ‘polluter pays’ proposal

The proposal is focused around strengthening the ‘polluter pays’ principle Photo: ESPO The proposal is focused around strengthening the ‘polluter pays’ principle Photo: ESPO

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has welcomed an EU proposal set to better protect the marine environment by boosting the amounts of waste delivered at ports.

ESPO said that in October, the European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism adopted a report on port reception facilities and gave a mandate to the rapporteur to begin negotiations to finalise a new law’s text.

The proposal is focused around strengthening the ‘polluter pays’ principle by discouraging the delivery of unreasonable quantities of waste, including that which is dangerous, for a fixed fee.

According to ESPO, the proposal aims to ensure that vessels deliver their waste at each port call and do not skip deliveries to save time.

It also avoids ports having to pay the extra costs of delivering quantities of waste exceeding the normal amounts created between two ship calls.

“The European Parliament Committee on Transport and Tourism has clearly voted in favour of a policy that incentivises ships to deliver waste generated on board in the ports,” said ESPO secretary general Isabelle Ryckbost.

“It also encourages ships to limit the waste at the source by preventing ships from delivering unreasonable amounts of waste without paying for it.

“We believe that the text adopted strikes the right balance between efficiency and responsibility and strengthens the ‘polluter pays’ principle.”

Ms Ryckbost added that ESPO was counting on the rapporteur and the parliamentary negotiating team to defend this result in further negotiations.

However, ESPO said it regrets the decision to make rebates mandatory for green management of waste on board vessels.

According to the ports body, while encouraging ships to work on sustainable waste management, ports feel the decision to give rebates must be made at port level.

ESPO also argued that mandatory rebates disregard the existence of different business and governance models in ports across Europe.

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