Friends of the Baltic shared the public's view on the problem and the existing and necessary solutions in the field of reducing microplastic (MP) pollution at the SPIEF 2021 round table. The Committee for Nature Use, Environmental Protection and Environmental Safety of St. Petersburg (hereinafter referred to as the Committee for Nature Management) gathered representatives of the state institutions, business, the public, and science.
About the significant conclusions of the meeting:
- The practical component of marine litter and MP tackling in St. Petersburg is growing.
Every year, the number of water bodies that are cleaned of floating litter increases. This year, 334 objects were included in the register, said Mikhail Strakhov (First Deputy Chairman of the Committee for Nature Management). Given that most of the garbage ends up in the sea with river runoff, this is a very useful achievement for reducing marine litter.
The membrane bioreactor is almost ready for launch at the treatment facilities in the village Molodyozhny, shared Mikhailov Pavel. Also, the Water Utility of St. Petersburg plans to introduce tertiary treatment and, thanks to innovations, reach 99% of water purification from microplastics. We would like to remind you that the membrane bioreactor is one of the most effective tools for capturing microplastics in wastewater treatment plants. However, the question of what to do with the recovered particles remains unanswered.
- We need a unified methodology, but we can already talk about patterns in the MP`s distribution and accumulation in the Gulf of Finland basin.
Pozdnyakov Shamil noted the evolution of sampling methodologies. The Institute of Limnology has created its own sampler, the most convenient for Lake Ladoga. Despite the fact that different aspects of sampling and analysis are important for different conditions, there is still a need to unify the methods with colleagues from other regions and from abroad for comparability of the results. St. Petersburg colleagues (for example, INOZ and RSHMU) have already found common ground and are trying to strengthen each other's research.
The Neva Bay of the Gulf of Finland is a storage area for plastic garbage. The results of studies of water and coastal sand, conducted by Alexandra Yershova and a group from RSHMU, prove a simple conclusion: a large city is a source of large plastic pollution that does not go beyond the dam. And we have the highest rates of water pollution in the entire Baltic Sea in the Neva Bay.
- Cooperation of initiatives to study and reduce MP in St. Petersburg is being strengthened
And such round tables are a direct proof of this and at the same time a catalyst for strengthening cooperation, the moderators of the event underlined - Olga Senova, Chairman of the Board of ANEO "Friends of the Baltic" and Boris Krylov, Director of NP "AsEP" (Association of Environmental Partnership). On the sidelines, the experts discussed the possibilities of cooperation. We hope that the results of the agreements reached at the forum will soon appear.