Hazardous Substances and Marine Litter

The problem

Hazardous_waHazardous substances and marine litter, including microplastics contamination, represents one of top-three main threats to the Baltic Sea environment and marine life. Many pollutants represent “old sins” such as industry emissions and previously used pesticides etc now banned. PCBs, heavy metals, dioxins and the more recent addition flame retardants are all still present in the environment and not least in fish and mammals. In fact fat tissue from Baltic Harbour Porpoises contain some of the highest concentrations of pollutants in all of the EU.

Different kids of plastic, large and small, is also present in the Baltic Sea although the problem is in parts smaller than in other sea areas because of limited tide and currents here. Up to 80% of marine litter sources are estimated to be land-based due to; poor waste management in households; inadequate waste infrastructure; lack of or inadequate water treatment plants; dumping of industrial waste and littering from coastal cities and coastal tourism destinations.

The Goal

How are CCB working with this issue?

  • Lobbying to ban microplastics from consumer care products by law
  • Lobbying to set up EU marine litter reduction target of 50% by 2025
  • Encouraging Baltic Sea States to fully implement HELCOM Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, applying innovative and radical reduction strategies

What can countries do together?

What can each country do? 

What can you do?

  • Recycle your plastic garbage
  • Avoid products containing microplastics
  • Join beach cleanups
  • Support NGOs in their work combating marine litter
Europe’s Declaration on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

20 Organisations sign declaration expressing serious concern about pharmaceuticals in the environment in the EU 17th November 2017 Brussels A group of twenty organisations – lead by Health Care Without Harm (HCWH) Europe – today sent a Declaration to European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime...

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Learn more on Marine Litter and Microplastic Pollution

Want to know more about Marine Litter and Microplastic Pollution of our seas, rivers and lakes? Take your chance and enroll to the #PlasticFreeBaltic online course on Marine Litter and Microplastic Pollution – first course of its kind in the #BalticSeaRegion! 7 thematic modules Certificate after successful completion...

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Wetlands dramatically reduce micro plastic

A new CCB study concludes that both waste water after treatments plants and storm water contains micro plastic particles. Testing the same water after it has passed through a constructed wetland show that considerable amounts are trapped in the wetland, regardless if the initial...

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See all CCB Publications about Hazardous substances and marine litter in Publications.



February 28, 2017

To reach the SDGs globally the Baltic-wide actions need to be implemented first!

logo_2rToday, high-level representatives of the HELCOM Contracting Parties will meet in Helsinki to discuss how the Baltic Sea Region can contribute to the global goals on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources by 2030. Actions related to eutrophication, marine litter and climate change will be given special focus in the discussions.

On behalf of environmentally concerned citizens of the Baltic Sea catchment, Coalition Clean Baltic would like to share some input to this work and bring to the attention of regional decision-makers the urgent needs to be addressed in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) and, even more importantly, to save the Baltic Sea from further deterioration.

Read the full statement here.







March 11, 2016

Statement at the 37th Meeting of the Helsinki Commission, 10-11 March 2016

Once again, we would like to share with you the concerns of civil society organizations and over 800,000 individual members of CCB’s network around the Baltic Sea.

Read Statement here: CCB_statement_HELCOM37_2016

February 15, 2016

Information by Greenpeace Russia about alarming situation at Krasny Bor hazardous waste landfill in Leningrad Oblast, Russia

Based on information received from Greenpeace Russia, CCB would like to raise attention of HELCOM Contracting Parties and Observer Organizations to the alarming situation with Krasny Bor hazardous waste landfill in Leningrad Oblast, nearby St.Petersburg.

Read Statement here: 7-1 Information by Greenpeace Russia about alarming situation at Krasny Bor hazardous waste landfill_CCB


November 19, 2015

Funding the EU MSFD Programs of Measures

A crucial part of the coherent implementation of the BSAP and the EU MSFD is the commitment to fund the needed measures to reach the GES targets. CCB is becoming concerned that several CPs being also EU MS have argued at different occasions, including the IG PoM and EU MSCG, that funding is a major problem for implementing the MSFD PoMs.  For a number of reasons CCB considers these claims unjustified.

Read statement here: 4-17 Funding the EU MSFD Programs of Measures_CCB

Hazardous substances
Ellen BrunoSwedish Society for Nature Conservation+46 8 7026595
Marine litter
Ellen BrunoSwedish Society for Nature Conservation+46 8 7026595
Ida CarlénBiodiversity and Nature Conservation Officer+46 70 3133067
Nils HöglundFisheries Policy OfficerSweden+46 70-867 92 49
Tapani VeistolaVuosaari Harbour / Finnish Association for Nature ConservationFinland+358 922 808 266