(FanpLESStic press release)

A new research project will focus on decreasing and removing microplastics in the Baltic Sea. The project will increase knowledge and understanding about dispersal pathways and sources through measurements in different flows in society, as well as cost-effective methods to reduce microplastics.  

Marine littering is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time and plastic is one of the most common types of garbage in the sea. FanpLESStic is a new research project, working with preventing and decreasing the pollution of microplastics in water and the Baltic Sea. Microplastics are plastic particles that are smaller than 5 mm in size. 

"This is an exciting project ranging from knowledge to technology and decision making. We hope that it will give concrete benefit to an extremely important marine environment: the Baltic Sea. The water has no boarders and it is therefore important that we do this together with our colleagues in the Baltic countries" says Marinette Hagman, Research Manager at Sweden Water Research. 

The project has three key targets: 

  • increased knowledge of where microplastics come from and their transport pathways 

  • Evaluation of technology that can reduce microplastic or reduce microplastic leakage before reaching watercourses,

  • increased knowledge and commitment of decision makers through suggestions on how to implement cost-effective methods to reduce microplastics.

"We do not know much about microplastics today. In order to make reliable analyzes of the amount of microplastics in the water, we need to standardize our measurement methods. Without that, it is difficult to determine how much plastics there is in the environment, where it comes from and how we can work to reduce it" says Marinette Hagman.

About the project

  • FanpLESStic project is including partner organizations in eight countries with coast to the Baltic sea (Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia).

  • The total budget of the project is 2 968 068,80 euro with financial support by the EU Interreg program.

  • Project period is from January 1st 2019 to June 30th 2021. Project coordinator is Sweden Water Research and responsible project manager is Carina Svensson, with solid experience of international projects.  

FanpLESStic-sea seeks to reduce microplastic leakage, by following main outputs

  1. A model to map, understand and visualize microplastic pathways that will be applied to the partners' cities/regions.

  2. Piloting of new technology i) for filtering away microplastics; ii) sustainable drainage solutions as means for removal of microplastics; and iii) to remove microplastics from stormwater. 

  3. Defining innovative governance frameworks and engaging a large range of players for implementation of coordinated and cost-efficient measures resulting in locally adapted investment proposals/plans for each partner's region. 

  4. Dissemination of project results, including reports on barriers and ways forward, to increase institutional capacity on up-stream and problem-targeted methods to remove microplastics. 



Facts about microplastics in marine environments

Marine littering is one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time and plastic is one of the most common types of garbage in the sea. Microplastics are plastic particles that are smaller than 5 mm in size. One problem with our knowledge about microplastics is that today there is no standard for measuring, sampling and analyzing microplastics in different forms, which makes it difficult to compare results. Without reliable analytical methods, the amount of plastic in the environment can not be determined, which means that it is not possible to determine which source is most important and what impact they have.


Partners in FanpLESStic

  • Denmark: Aalborg University, 

  • Finland: Natural Resources Institute Finland and Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission - Helsinki Commission, 

  • Latvia: Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, 

  • Lithuania: Siauliai Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Crafts

  • Norway: Salt Lofoten AS 

  • Poland: Gdanks Water Utilities Ltd. and Gdansk Water Ltd., 

  • Russia: State Autonomous Institution of the Kaliningrad region "Environmental Center "ECAT-Kaliningrad", 

  • Sweden: Sweden Water Research and Luleå University of Technology




Marinette Hagman, Research Manager, Sweden Water Research: phone +46-(0)10-490 98 17,  marinette.hagman@nsva.se

Carina Svensson, Project Manager, Sweden Water Research: +46-(0)72-226 95 94, carina.svensson@swrab.se