Sweden turbocharges international collaboration to stop marine litter
Hall Sverige Rent, the Swedish litter prevention organisation and member of the Clean Europe Network, has been busy tackling litter on land for over three decades, but it has also played an instrumental role in tackling marine litter in the Baltic Sea. Important ongoing initiatives include “Marelitt Baltic”, a project aiming to reduce the impact of marine litter from abandoned fishing gear, and “Blastic”, a project to map, monitor and propose solutions to reduce the inflow of plastic waste in the Baltic Sea.
To go a step further, earlier this month Hall Sverige Rent launched Hall Havet Rent (Keep the Oceans Tidy), a new network aimed specifically at tackling marine litter in the Baltic Sea. This network will promote concrete actions to improve the design of products, services and regulations with litter prevention in mind. Product design initiatives might include, for example, the promotion of drinks bottles where the bottle cap always remains attached to the bottle itself.
This new network is open to all relevant stakeholders and already counts 6 important members, notably
- Apoteket AB - the Swedish state-owned pharmaceutical retailer
- BillerudKorsnäs AB - the Swedish multinational provider of pulp and paper for packaging
- Konsumentföreningen Stockholm - the consumer association of Stockholm
- Lidl Sverige AB - the Swedish subsidiary of the German giant supermarket chain
- Orklafoods Sverige AB - one of Sweden’s leading food companies
- Systembolaget AB - the Swedish state-owned chain of liquor stores
The network will further its objectives by increasing scientific knowledge of the negative consequences of marine litter, by promoting fast and concrete measures to prevent it and by fostering behavioural change through increased awareness.
Earlier this month, Hall Sverige Rent also took part in the Nordic Coastal Clean-Up Day, a massive awareness raising campaign that was run in collaboration with the leading litter prevention organisations of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway. The initiative was supported by the Environment ministers of each country, and was kicked off by Erik Solheim, the Norwegian politician and director of the United Nations’ Environment Programme.
Tackling marine litter is a complex issue that requires the participation of as many stakeholders as possible. Oceans know no boundaries in practice. Indeed, litter dropped in a town in one country can be carried way by rivers and ocean currents for miles before ending up on the shores of another country.
More information about Swedish and Baltic litter prevention initiatives is available at www.hsr.se