This survey is related to the implementation of the HELCOM Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter, more precisely action RS 2, led by Denmark, which reads: “Encourage the development and use of buoys, floats and docks, which do not release expanded polystyrene (EPS) and other problematic materials to the marine environment with the aim to phase out the use of those containing unprotected EPS and problematic materials”. The action, as indicated in its implementation plan, aims to develop a guidance on reduction of buoys etc. of EPS/XPS with unprotected surfaces or other problematic materials.

Littering of expanded plastics (EP), especially in the form of expanded polystyrene (EPS) is a growing environmental concern due to the unique set of properties of these materials and the frequency in which they are found during litter clean-up operations. Due to the low density of EPS/XPS and other foamed plastics as compared to other plastics, it is expected that a high share of these plastics would end up on the beaches.
Beach litter monitoring in the Baltic areas indicates that EPS/XPS accounts for about 10% of the total sum of plastic beach litter items, although with a significant variation between different beaches.
In practice, two types of polystyrene foam are used: expanded polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS). As the environmental fate and possible effects of the two types are similar, no distinction will be made between them.
EPS/XPS foams have many names, where the most “common used” names are flamingo and styropor. Other names are sunpor, jackopor and air-pop.
Below is a series of questions where your contribution, to respond to the extent possible, would be highly appreciated.
For aquaculture related issues, please see the dedicated separate section, if there is additional or specific information on the use of these material in this industry in your country.
If possible, it will be very beneficial if you can distinguish between floats used in professional/leisure fishing (using trawls, nets, gill nets, cages etc.) and angling (using fishing poles).
Beside the use encompassed by the action, it is also proposed to address the use of EPS/XPS in fishing boxes, as this is a potential source to EPS/XPS found and is also used in the marine environment. 
The survey should take about 20-30 minutes to complete. You are kindly invited to complete it by 1 June 2023

Thank you very much for your contribution! 

In case of doubts, please contact Frank Jensen (
10% of survey complete.