Foamed polystyrene products (EPS and XPS) are a major and worrying source of marine litter in the Atlantic Ocean. They require immediate action.

These products are everywhere. Expanded polystyrene (EPS) and Extruded polystyrene (XPS) are plastic foam materials used globally in the composition of several products, such as fish and sea-food boxes, hot drinks cups, single-use food boxes and trays, packaging of electronic appliances and other fragile or temperature sensitive products, insulation for buildings, floating structures in the sea, amongst other uses. 

Now, for the very first time, several countries decided to work together to solve a problem that is, silently, threatening our oceans and marine wildlife.

We are OceanWise, a project running from 2018 and ending in June 2022, designed to develop long-term measures to reduce the impact of EPS in the North-East Atlantic Ocean.

Based on resource-efficiency participatory methods and circular economy principles, OceanWise will generate new and best practice within sectors considering the use, manufacturing, recycling and uptake of foamed polystyrene.
We will be working together with people who produce EPS and XPS, who design products that use these materials, people who need them in their industries, who manage EPS and XPS waste, and people who buy goods with EPS and XPS. We need all the stakeholders and to address the entire life cycle of foamed polystyrene products to reduce its leakage to the oceans.
Our team comprises 13 partners from 5 Atlantic Area countries – Portugal, Ireland, France, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Driven by the EU-Marine Strategy Framework Directive and the OSPAR Convention’s Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, our goal is to present the best solutions and results to drive more sustainable policies and best practices until 2020.
We hope to make a difference


OceanWise comprises 13 partners ranging from national governmental organizations and operational agencies to knowledge centres from the 5 countries. In addition, the OSPAR Secretariat has joined the partnership as associated partner, to ensure institutional support and advice to the project: the OSPAR Convention includes all the countries of the North-East Atlantic area.


OceanWise is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) INTERREG Atlantic Area, under Priority Axis 4: Enhancing biodiversity and the natural and cultural assets.

OceanWise has a total budget of 2,853,536.78€. ERDF INTERREG Atlantic Area will contribute with 2,140,152.60€. Partners will invest 713,384.19€.

INTERREG Atlantic Area is an European funding program that aims to promote cooperation among 36 Atlantic regions of five European countries: France, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom. For more information about this program, visit  >>here