Fisherman who collects plastic at sea and brings it ashore for disposal: know that you have to pay (for now)!


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We produce plastic, we kill the sea, and-this is a real absurdity-we have a law (the 152/2006) that disincentivizes fishermen, who catch garbage and floating plastic in their nets while fishing, to bring them ashore for disposal.
The fishermen then are “forced” to throw them back into the water, otherwise the law would consider them producers of waste, with all the responsibilities of disposal, which entails costs and even risks of fines.

Fortunately, this nonsense has been realized by Environment Minister Sergio Costa: “We will focus on reusing the material together with entrepreneurs. We will allow fishing vessels to bring plastic ashore without legal consequences.”

Better late than never. Perhaps Costa took a cue from a good Tuscan example from a few months ago: the Tuscany Region at the suggestion of the Angelo Vassallo Foundation has initiated a recycling project affecting the three hundred square kilometers of sea between Livorno and Grosseto. Here, vessels can collect plastic waste and dump it in a special container at the dock, from where it will then be transported to a facility for disposal or recycling. Each boat harvests between twenty and thirty kilograms each day, corresponding to an average of 3 percent of the catch.

“This is not a law against anyone,” Costa explained, “We will include a first step on the circular economy, so we will focus on reusing plastics. Entrepreneurs will be on our side while protecting the environment.” Then “it will be to use the great resource of the country that are our fishermen. Currently they can’t even bring waste ashore, so we will intervene in the law, 152/2006, the environmental code, to allow them to bring plastic ashore.” To incentivize fishermen, there could be tax breaks for those who collect waste. Hopefully.

By the way, we with Medplastic Team already do this:

By picking up plastic you encounter along your sailings, and posting the photo to the Facebook group or the inbox of the Sail Newspaper’s Instagram page (@giornaledellavela), you will take part in the “No Plastic” contest and win lots of prizes.


1. Starting June 1, take a photo (or record a video) every time you see, collect or prevent litter at sea (sticking to the theme: Time to take Action)


2. Like Giornale della Vela on Instagram and Facebook and send it to the @giornaledellavela inbox on Instagram (or post it on the MedPlastic Team Facebook group): remember to include where and when it was taken and hashtag #MedPlastic


3. The GdV will republish it and the photo that takes the most votes over the year will be the winner (with awards at VELAFestival 2019). We will award not only the first place winner!



Time to Take Action is the slogan of Medplastic, the new project of the Journal of Sailing and Powerboats to safeguard the Mediterranean. Join the MedPlastic Team Facebook group, participate in the NO Plastic Instagram contest, and learn more about

Thanks to all the active users of the Medplastic Group, who share daily insights, useful news, decalogues, ideas, and alternative zero-impact products. This must be the spirit of Medplastic. The health of the Mediterranean (and ours) depends on ourselves. We are working hard, to be a sounding board and convey on our channels a huge issue (also check out A problem to which we can, and must, find a solution quickly. Those who have already started/structured projects to propose to us, please send an email to



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