The posters, installed in cooperation with the Tallinn Environmental Board and SEI Tallinn in framework of the international project BLASTIC, encourage people to behave responsibly and avoid plastic litter finishing up in the sea.
Tallinn Deputy Mayor Züleyxa Izmailova said that Tallinn has taken a number of measures to reduce marine litter, raising people’s awareness on the issue being one of them. “The use of disposable plastic cups in Tallinn during public events will be banned starting January. Also, this year’s Tallinn Maintenance Month was dedicated to fighting plastic marine litter,” said Izmailova. We chose to install the information posters on Pirita beach, which by the way holds the international Blue Flag eco label, to underline the importance of keeping our beaches clean. It is up to each and every one of us to make this happen. We can contribute to it by keeping the streets and beaches clean by not throwing cigarette buts or candy wraps on the ground to start with,” Izmailova added.
Up to 90 percent of marine litter is made up of plastic, and most of it reaches the sea from land. According to Harri Moora, environmental expert at SEI Tallinn, significant amounts of plastic waste reach the sea from recreational areas, including beaches. “The most common type of beach litter are cigarette butts, which can account for up to 70 percent of coastal waste. A large number of cigarette filters and other plastic waste eventually reach the sea, where they break down into tiny particles called microplastics, which, in turn, can be mistaken for food by fish and other sea creatures. This way plastic can also enter our food chain and damage human health,” said Moora.
The information boards on Pirita beach changing cabins were installed in the framework of the European Commission’s Central Baltic Program project BLASTIC. The goal of the project is to map the plastic litter pathways from coastal areas to the Baltic Sea and help municipalities to create action plans aimed at reducing marine plastics. The project’s leaders in Estonia are the Tallinn Environmental Board and SEI Tallinn.