STOCKHOLM, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Sweden wants national and local governments in the Baltic Sea region to set an example on environmental protection by banning microplastics in cosmetic products.
On Monday, Sweden's environment minister Karolina Skog took part in the opening of the inaugural Baltic Sea Future Congress in Stockholm, which focuses on developing innovation and leadership to achieve sustainable development in the Baltic Sea region.
Skog said plastic waste in the oceans was one of the most serious environmental problems on the planet.
"Microplastics in cosmetic products are completely unnecessary and there are alternatives," Skog said in a statement published on the Swedish government website, adding she was working on instituting a ban.
"I believe Sweden, along with other countries and municipalities in the Baltic Sea region, can demonstrate global leadership in this area," the statement read.
In the fall of 2015, the United Nations adopted 17 global sustainable development goals, one of which concerned the oceans where the aim is to reduce marine waste and microplastics in the oceans. In June, Sweden and Fiji will jointly host a global conference focusing on the issue.
According to the statement, Sweden also leads efforts to eliminate dangerous substances and plastics in the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region to identify emissions sources and environmental protection measures.