A full 80 percent of all the garbage that ends up in the ocean comes from the land, and 60 percent of this debris is plastic. In the common EU project Blastic countries around the Baltic Sea will now find out the sources and pathways in urban areas that lead to trash ending up in the marine environment. IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute is participating in the project that is led by the Håll Sverige Rent (Keep Sweden Tidy) Foundation.
– The project delivers a lot of new, valuable information about how debris flows from the city into the sea. This is important data that will enable us, along with municipalities and other stakeholders, to apply the measures that will enable us to reduce littering of the marine environment, says Johanna Ragnartz, CEO of Håll Sverige Rent.
Under the project IVL will develop a new method to identify the sources and pathways of marine litter in urban environments. The survey will identify and prioritize measures to reduce litter.
A novel aspect of the project is the practical implementation of regional and national strategies at local levels. A comprehensive and concrete action list relevant for the whole Central Baltic Sea Region will be presented in due course.
In Sweden, the municipality of Södertälje will act as pilot area. Potential sources and pathways of marine littering will be identified, measurements carried out in the field and an action plan developed.
– The project will set forth guidelines for how municipalities can work to reduce the flow of plastic debris to the marine environment. The guide will include everything from how to map potential sources of litter, to how to measure the flow of plastic garbage and how to develop action plans, says Anna Fråne at IVL.
Blastic is financed by the Central Baltic Programme, and will run until 2018. In addition to IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Håll Sverige Rent (coordinator), Keep the Archipelago Tidy (Finland), Stockholm Environment Institute ,Tallinn, SYKE (Finland), Fee, Latvia, Turku City and the city of Tallinn will also participate in the project.