Stockholm pitches Xmas trees in water to help fish

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What's the power potential in Sweden's Christmas trees? (iStock)
A new program in Stockholm is looking to recycle xmas trees in a way that can help water life. (iStock)
The city of Stockholm is throwing Christmas trees in the sea as part of a pilot project to improve the environment for fish.

Every year at this time there’s the problem of what to do with the Christmas tree. Swedes traditionally take down their trees on January 13. But, looking back to an old tradition, the project is an attempt to create better environments for fish and other small aquatic creatures.

The city of Stockholm is working with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), the recreational fishing association Sportfiskarna, and the Strömma boat tour operators, collecting Christmas trees from private households and the Skansen outdoor cultural museum.

Giving sea life a place to hide

Tom Arnbom, senior advisor of the SwedishWWF, tells Radio Sweden: “Throwing trees or bushes into lakes creates environments for the fish to hide in. Insects and shrimp can hide there too. And in addition the fish can lay their eggs. So by creating these small eco-systems, you increase the biodiversity.”

Trees will be tied together with stones and sunk in Stockholm’s Riddarfjärden Bay. If the project is successful it will be rolled out to other areas next year.

Otherwise, Stockholm’s old Christmas trees are converted into biochar.

But people shouldn’t just grab their trees and toss them in the water anywhere, Tom Arnbom of the WWF warns.

“You can’t throw them in where people dive or where boats go. And you need the approval of the property owner. You have to be a bit careful, and use your common sense.”

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: Fishermen receive environmental award for competition boycott in North Finland, Yle News

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

Sweden: The energy potential in recycled Christmas trees, Radio Sweden

Russia:  Submariners feed polar bears with garbage, Barents Observer

United States: Glass recycling gains momentum in remote Alaska, Alaska Dispatch News

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