Environmental protection: 40,000 liters of popcorn is released in the Baltic Sea

The international practice under the name Balex Delta 18 will be based on Karlskrona and will be carried out on the land and in the Baltic along the Swedish southeast coast.

Coastal monitoring manages the part of the exercise to be carried out at sea, which relates to a scenario where the Baltic Sea is hit by a major oil spill. But instead of oil, the Coast Guard has to process 40,000 liters of popcorn.

"Considering popcorn is due to the fact that they are considered a good substitute for oil, Popcorn flows well and is not harmful to wildlife, because they are harmless to the animals to eat," says Lars Persson, editor in charge of emergency cases at the county council in Skåne.

"You'll use the same equipment to collect the popcorn used for a real oil spill," he continues.

A total of 32 countries participate and more than 500 people in practice carried out in cooperation between the Baltic Sea and the EU countries. The annual exercise has nothing to do with the oil spill of the summer in the Baltic Sea.

"Last year Russia was a host country and this year it was our turn", says Lars Persson.

At the same time he points out that the oil spill in the summer provides a new and concrete scenario to base on. Most of the more than 500 people taking part in the exercise, which starts on Monday, will use the 20 ships, helicopters and aircraft for use in the disaster scenario.

A smaller part of the participants will participate simultaneously in a seminar exercise led by the County Administrative Board in Skåne at the Coast Guard training center in Karlskrona. There, representatives from different Swedish authorities will discuss how they can deal with a disaster that requires international support.

"Sweden has a little bit of work with EU support in the forest fires in the summer, and now we find out how we can handle a similar size solution with an oil protection scenario," says Lars Persson.

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