Plastic waste pathways into the Baltic Sea

P2 Sustainable use of common resources

2.4. Reduced nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflow into the Baltic Sea

Central Baltic

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2018

€1 016 555

€784 522

Project Summary:

The BLASTIC project aims at reducing plastic waste and thereby hazardous substances inflow into the Baltic Sea by mapping and monitoring litter levels in the aquatic environment.

Marine litter consists mainly of plastic and packaging material in the Central Baltic region. The project demonstrates how plastic waste in urban areas finds its ways to the Baltic Sea and becomes marine litter. Land-based sources count for most of the marine litter while rivers are major pathways feeding the sea with litter. In practise the project takes regional and national strategies into use on a local level and also produces updated local action plans. The project compiles a list of sources and pathways with recommendations that are closely linked to resource efficiency in waste and water sector. The methodology is implemented in 3-4 urban areas and the concept is further promoted in other areas.

As a result of the project the amount and inflow of plastic marine litter and hazardous substances are reduced in the Central Baltic area and the Baltic Sea. The outcomes that lead to overall result are 100 kg less plastic in pilot areas, real data and a new methodology that suit the pilot areas as well as general guidelines with list of identified and prioritized sources with focus on plastic waste and urban areas. This project is built to expand after the project is completed, which provides conditions that ultimately contribute to the reduced hazardous substances and toxins’ inflow into the Baltic Sea.

Lead Partner

Håll Sverige Rent

Country: SE

Partner budget: 205.800 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 154.350 EUR ERDF

Project Partners

Pidä Saaristo Siistinä ry

Country: FI

Partner budget: 196.325 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 147.244 EUR ERDF

SA Säästva Eesti Instituut / Stockholmi llinn

Country: EE

Partner budget: 102.402 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 87.042 EUR ERDF

IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet

Country: SE

Partner budget: 188.240 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 141.180 EUR ERDF

Vides izglitibas fonds

Country: LV

Partner budget: 67.876 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 57.694 EUR ERDF

Suomen Ymparistökeskus

Country: FI

Partner budget: 153.407 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 115.055 EUR ERDF

Turun kaupunki

Country: FI

Partner budget: 51.725 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 38.794 EUR ERDF

Tallinna Linnavalitsus

Country: EE

Partner budget: 50.780 EUR

Amount of ERDF funding: 43.163 EUR ERDF

Achieved results

Project result in category -
Reduction of nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflow into the Baltic

BLASTIC – Less marine litter through mapping and monitoring

BLASTIC developed new methodology and approaches to map sources, impacts and pathways of marine litter. Mapping approaches were combined with monitoring methods to produce the ‘BLASTIC riverine plastic litter monitoring method’ guidelines.
Additionally, BLASTIC also produced a list that identifies and prioritises measures to reduce litter streams from land to sea. The list helps municipalities to create local marine litter action plans. The guidelines and the list are accompanied by a socioeconomic report that looks at the impact of marine litter.
The project tested its methodology in pilot areas, where concrete plastic marine litter was removed. The pilot along with the created materials served the general aim to increase knowledge and awareness about plastic, micro plastics and hazardous substances among different target groups. As part of this, a knowledge bank ( was setup.

Internet presence


Other media visibility

Radio: Makroplast kan vara största källan till all plast i havet (SR P1)

Reducing refuse in Finland’s Aura River (Info Regio)

Radio: Ny metod ska mäta plasten i havet (SR P4)

Aurajoessa virtaavan roskan määrää tutkitaan (Available in FI, EN, SV)

Project videos

BLASTIC -Project (single-use plastic items are the most common litter in our seas; March, 2018)
BLASTIC -Project (cigarette butts break down to microplastics and release toxins in the sea; March 2018)
BLASTIC -Project (plastic breaks down in water but never disappears; March 2018)