Sweden tackles microplastics problem

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A blue rectangular piece of microplastic is visible on a researcher's finger in Washington State in 2010. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
A blue rectangular piece of microplastic is visible on a researcher’s finger in Washington State in 2010. (Ted S. Warren / AP)
Sweden wants to reduce the environmental spreading of microplastics, the small particles of plastic that can be found in skin care and hygiene products, as well as in clothes, and which often wind up in the sea.

To tackle this problem, they have tasked the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency with surveying how big the problem is and coming back with recommendations on how to reduce it.

Environment Minister Åsa Romson tells Swedish Radio News:

“We as humans must not feed wild creatures with plastic.Today we use a lot of plastic in our society, which sooner or later winds up in the sea and breaks down into microplastics. Researchers warn us that this is not healthy – not for animals living in the sea, and in the long run, it can also threaten people’s health.”

Related stories from around the North:

Canada:  Plastic microbeads- a toxic substance in waterways-from the Great Lakes to the Arctic, Radio Canada International

Finland: Microplastics – the latest threat to the Baltic, Yle News

Greenland: Study finds increase in litter on Arctic seafloor, Blog by Mia Bennett

Norway:  Norway is polluting Murmansk says Russian official, Barents Observer

Russia: Submariners feed polar bears with garbage, Barents Observer

Sweden:  Sweden tackles plastic bag problem, Radio Sweden

United States:  Arctic sea ice littered with tiny bits of ‘microplastic’ pollution, Alaska Dispatch News

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