Plastic free ocean – cleaning up the coast and monitoring of marine litter on the Kotlin island

On June 5 the World Environment Day was held in 2018 under the slogan "Beat the plastic pollution!" (read more about the day here or here .The action "Plastic free ocean", dedicated to this holiday, was held by the Friends of the Baltic, Ecocentrum with the Fertoing and Mordraga companies. The participants of the event cleaned the beach area and monitored marine macrolitter on the Kotlin island in the area of the Citadelskaya highway in Kronstadt town.

More than 40 people participated in the clean-up action. Divers of the Fertoing conpany collected garbage from the bottom of the Gulf of Finland In addition to ground-based clean-up. They worked at the distance of 10 meters from the shore. In total, more than 40 bags of plastic, 3 bags of paper, more than 15 bags of metal, more than 200 kg of glass and 13 cubic meters of other debris were collected and exported from the beach. Part of the waste as recyclables went to recycling and will get a second life.

Experts of the Ecocentrum and Friends of the Baltic have showed colleagues about the methods of monitoring marine macrolitter (, its application and relevance. Just after that, participants tested the methodology on the coast of the Kotlin island. As a result of the joint research, the following results were obtained (see the diagram).


Leading position in terms of weight in the local waste is plastic waste: first of all, packaging from food - chips, sweets, etc., as well as cups and plastic bags for general purpose, as well as fishing nets and fishing lines, entangled in reeds and algae.

The beach is not equipped for public visits and swimming, but obviously, that the local residents often arrange picnics there. On the shore you can find a large number of woods for sitting and disposable barbecues. Also, we saw around this places the accumulated garbage - remains picnics. Participants of monitoring found a huge number of glass bottles and its fragments near the water - 111. A local resident, who joined the monitoring, have known that a large number of glasses are found here. Inhabitants walking on the beach often collect the broken glass on the way to prevent danger no one to hurt. Right behind the beach a school and a kindergarten are placed, so glass on the coast is a big danger.

We concluded that the garbage from picnics is dominated on the beach. So, to solve the problem it is necessary to work with the population, to educate residents about the problem and the dangers of marine litter for the inhabitants of the Gulf of Finland and the people themselves. Also it is important to equip the beach with the recreation and waste storage places.

Thanks to Serafima Belevich and Kseniya Todorets for the photos.

The event was held within the project "More Baltic, Less Plastic"