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Pilot project seeks solutions to responsible waste management at ports

News Responsible Shipping

Baltic Sea Action Group (BSAG) launches a pilot project to examine ship generated waste flows and related information flows at the port of Oulu. The pilot aims at recognizing all stakeholders in the value chain, identifying eventual points of friction, and seeking best practices for waste management and waste recovery.   

Numerous stakeholders participate in the pilot project, covering different parts of the value chain: ships, shipowners, shipbrokers, port operators, waste management companies and transport companies. Best practices are defined through interviews and workshops: what could be done to enable ships to discharge their waste easier at ports, and enable waste recovery? 

The pilot project at the port of Oulu is linked to the BSAG project on responsible shipping, which aims at reducing the environmental burden of shipping. There are 2000 cargo ships sailing in the Baltic Sea every day. The waste waters and food waste generated onboard the vessels can be legally discharged into the sea. The discharges contribute to eutrophication, oxygen depletion and increase the amount of marine litter. The ships could be encouraged to discharge their waste ashore by arranging smooth and quick reception procedures at ports Waste categories should be used for recovery purposes more efficiently.  

 The port is a good example of a value chain with numerous stakeholders. In addition to actual waste, the value chain covers information exchange. The pilot project covers all waste categories generated onboard the ships and ashore at ports.  We are delighted that so many companies want to participate in this joint exercise”, comments Elisa Mikkolainen, project director at BSAG.  “Oulu is a busy general port with an emphasis on development. That’s why we chose the port of Oulu for our pilot project.” 

”The Port of Oulu aims to be a pioneer in sustainable port operations. The sustainability goals that we have set for ourselves are high, and we are working towards them in a consistent manner. For us, this pilot project by BSAG aimed at reducing the environmental burden of shipping is a very important step towards meeting our goals, as well as an opportunity to increase collaboration with local actors“, says Päivi Vähänikkilä-Kuronen, Business Development Manager at Port of Oulu Ltd. 

The pilot project is carried out by engineering and consulting company AFRY, which develops sustainable solutions for their clients in infrastructure, industrial and energy sectors. 

”AFRY’s activity is lead by sustainable solutions and sustainable operations. We are proud for being able to provide our expertise in circular economy and waste management for the good of the Baltic Sea. The Baltic Sea is unique for its features of shallow waters and low salt concentration. That makes it very fragile. In this project we are involved in concrete work for improving the state of the Baltic Sea,” comments AFRY’s leader of Environment Business Unit Kaisa Vähänen 

The pilot project will be accomplished in spring 2021, and it is a part of the BSAG project on responsible shipping “Responsible management of grey waters and food waste in the Baltic Sea”.  The two-year project is funded by the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund’s Finnish Operational Program 2014–2020. 

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