Conservation, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development
The project Circular Seas is an ambitious program initiated in 2018 in Spain and Portugal, promoted by Coca-Cola, co-funded by The Coca-Cola Foundation and supported by the work and commitments of the Chelonia Association, the Ecomar Foundation, the Association Vertidos Cero and the Liga para a Protecção da Natureza, counting with the collaboration of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fishing and Food for actions in Marine Reserves and their areas of influence. It has also counted so far with the participation and collaboration of more than 1,100 public and private entities, including the municipalities of the regions involved in the project.
The Chelonia Association, as a scientific-technical entity of the project, is in charge of the coordination of the following activities:
- Monitoring of litter on beaches and aquatic environments, following the protocol used by the Ministry for the Ecological Transition (MITECO). Through this activity we carry out about 174 samplings every year (87 beaches/aquatic environments monitored twice a year). The general results obtained on marine Spanish beaches (about 66) are included in the annual report of the Monitoring Program of Marine Litter on Beaches coordinated by the MITECO. It can be accesed here. This action is addressed to monitor the solid waste present in coastal and aquatic environments, recording their abundances, tipologies and sources of origin by season, as well as their evolution, in order to have a deeper knowledge of their impacts and for searching possible solutions.
- Actions for the collection, separation and correct disposal of waste found on beaches and around aquatic environments in at least 25 localities, with the collaboration of local entities and 7,647 volunteers, between 2018 and 2022, removing 17.844 kg of solid waste. The PET plastic is separated in every clean-up to be reincorporated in the value chain.
- Actions of collection, separation and correct disposal of waste in areas of influence of 11 Marine Reserves y 10 areas of the Natura 2000 Network, to contribute to their conservation, with the participation and support of local institutions and 1.677 volunteers in 2018-2021, removing 15.082 kg of solid waste.
- Carrying out of training and awareness actions addressed to students of high school, universities and groups of the civil society about the issue of marine litter, the roles and functions of oceans and the need of their conservation. Other topics included are reciclyng, responsible consumption and circular economy. These actions are developed mainly in localities where clean-ups take place, including in the area of influence of Marine Reserves and Natura 2000 Protected Areas, widening also to other localities through in-person and virtual actions. Between 2018 and 2021, more than 25.000 people were trained and increased their awareness on marine litter, reciclyng and circular economy.
- Organization and coordination of the annual Contest Circular Seas, which in 2022 launched the fifth edition. Their prizes are aimed at supporting initiatives that propose solutions and alternatives to the problems and impacts produced from the waste generation and marine litter, with a perspective of circular economy. The contest has two modalities: Research Projects, in which two scientific proposals are prized annually, and Start-ups, in which the tow prizes are aimed at contributing as capital seed for the development of bussiness projects that propose solutions to the marine litter issue. All the information about the contest can be consulted here.
The project objetive is aimed at promoting changes towards a circular economy, contributing to the reduction of marine litter impacts through actions to remove it from coastal and aquatic environments, making a correct separation by fractions and reincorporating the PET plastic to the production chain. Training activities to increase awareness of volunteers, the education community, municipal entities and the civil society, are also developed, as well as an annual contest to stimulate innovative solutions and scientific and bussiness alternatives.
If you are interested in organizing or receiving some training / awareness conference for students or any other group of the civil society, don't hesitate to contact us through our form and we will try to coordinate it.