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Hazardous plastic beads for fish and birds

Hazardous plasticHazardous plastic.Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

Small beads of industrial micro plastic litter beaches and sea all along the Norwegian coast. The Nature Conservation Association and affected municipalities are now trying to find the source of the contamination.

The small, shiny plastic beads shine between seaweed on Frierstranda in Porsgrunn. They actually look quite nice out, like the beads children use for making funny necklaces. But their shape and appearance is deceiving. The petroleum-based plastics industry uses them as raw material. The micro plastic ends up in the sea in  several different ways, like by being unloaded from a ship or through factory effluents.

–  There has been pollution caused by the industry based pellets for many years and it is a major national and international problem,  Per-Erik Schulze, adviser to the Nature Conservation Association, says.
Micro plastic can be deadly for birds and fish that ingest the tiny plastic pieces. A unanimous energy and environment committee of the Parliament demanded earlier this month that the government draws up an action plan on the micro plastic.

Plastic beads from various productions are found on a number of Norwegian beaches, like at the head of Oslo Fjord,  in the outer Oslofjord, in the natural reservation Hvaler, and also in Vestfold, Telemark, Jæren, Ålesund and at Hitra in Sør-Trøndelag, documentation from the the Nature Conservation Association shows.
Now they want to find the cause of the emissions in Porsgrunn.

NCA notified
Naturvernforbundet has this week notified the NCA of acute pollution caused by commodity plastics at the shoreline in Porsgrunn.
– We have found large quantities of a particular type of marine litter, namely industrial plastpellet. It looks like they have their origin in Frierfjord, says Schulze.
– Based on the information we have, emissions may be related to industry, port operations and shipping in the vicinity, said Schulze who has collaborated with environmental advisers in Kragerø, Bamble and Porsgrunn to map the pollution.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

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