Belgian plastics association Federplast.be, environmental NGOs and the Belgian-Dutch association of coastal communities have signed an agreement to stop the dumping of plastic waste in the North Sea and other seas and rivers. A staggering 20,000 tons of plastic waste finds its way into the North Sea each year, costing Belgium and the Netherlands €10 million Euros in clean-up and other costs. The resolution points out that banning plastics is not the solution and instead calls for more responsible use. “If we take plastics out of pacemakers, prostheses, intravenous drips or other medical applications, we are going back in time,” it says. “Plastics have their merits and are as such not a problem.” The resolution is also calling for the authorities to work towards stopping further pollution and cleaning up waste at sea. “That everybody carries responsibility is clear: 50% of the waste comes from ships, 50% of the waste is from onshore,” says the document, adding that new sources of pollution should also be prevented.