A large part of plastic in Iceland's beaches

There is evidence that a large part of the plastic found in the shores of the country is waste that has been produced in Iceland. This is according to Sóley Bjarnadóttir, an expert from the Environment Agency. The audit is based on the years 2016 and 2017. Sóley himself monitors the beaches at Seltjarnarnes.

The matter is discussed on the Agency's website.

"I would say it is more obvious that the trash comes from land here in Bakkavík than the debris found in Hornstrandir and Skagaströnd, for example, it is more fishing-related rubbish and more difficult to understand whether it comes from an Icelandic fishery or not. But basically, what remains to be done is to look more closely at the origins of every part we find. "

A large part of the junk that comes from land, such as bottle caps, food packaging, confectionery, shotgun capsules and wet cloths. Sóley operates the wet cloths for emergency release in Faxaskjól 2017. This year wet cloths are still to be found in the nearby beaches despite the fact that Veitur has been cleaned. "But this seems to be a tremendous amount going through our sewage treatment system when it's such an emergency release and the sea seems to store this cloth and then they wash up the shores," says Sóley in a news release.


Sóley emphasizes that the audit only gives an indication of the origin of plastic in the shores of the country, this needs further investigation. For example, it is not possible to trace the origin of plastic fragments found in beaches.

"It really shows us how durable the plastic is. It could have been in the ocean for a long time but always breaks down into smaller and smaller parts and eventually turns into microplastics. "



She believes that banning plastic bags is not a universal solution but a logical step to change thinking and behavior.

It is natural for Icelanders to participate in an international effort to reduce the use of disposable plastics. Icelanders are consumption-intensive compared to other countries and high waste is created as a result. Icelanders need to look at it and assume responsibility. "Think before you buy something if you need it. If you're buying an item in a plastic bag, sorting out all the trash from you, it immediately changes a lot. "

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