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The Clean Oceans Initiative

An estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic waste and 1.5 million tonnes of microplastics enter the oceans every year. This threatens marine ecosystems as well as the communities relying on the seas for survival. Most of the plastics in the oceans come from waste thrown on the ground or into rivers by the 2 billion people who don’t have waste collection. Lack of wastewater treatment in many developing cities is a major source of plastic pollution. 

The oceans provide countless benefits to the planet. They provide food, medicines, renewable energy and natural resources to people around the globe. The value of goods and services produced by marine and coastal resources is an estimated €2.5 trillion a year. Keeping the oceans clean is crucial for sustainable development and the reduction of poverty. The oceans ensure an income and healthy diet for billions of people. Oceans absorb about 30% of the planet’s carbon dioxide, buffering the impact of global warming.

The Clean Oceans Initiative was launched in October 2018 by the European Investment Bank together with Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and KfW. The initiative is identifying projects that can stop plastic waste from entering rivers and seas or being thrown on the ground. By 2023, it plans to finance €2 billion in projects that reduce plastic waste. The initiative is focusing on the management of waste, wastewater and stormwater in Africa, Asia and Latin America. 

In October 2020, the founding members of the Clean Oceans Initiative welcomed the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) and the Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO) as new partners to contribute to the protection of our oceans and seas. 

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