Clear waters from pharmaceuticals - CWPharma

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CWPharma will give tools and recommendations to policy makers, authorities and municipalities on the best ways to reduce emissions of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the Baltic Sea Region. The project focuses on filling the gaps of knowledge identified in e.g. UNESCO and HELCOM status report on pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea (2017), and strives to increase the awareness of policy-makers, regulators and permitting authorities on environmental risks, implementation of the emission reduction schemes, and eventually decreasing the emissions of APIs into Baltic Sea region environment.

Screening of a wide range of APIs will be performed in six river basin districts to get a more complete picture of sources, emissions and environmental concentrations of APIs. Based on the data from case studies and literature, the overall emissions of APIs and their impact on the environment in the BSR will be assessed.

Different emission reduction measures will be evaluated in CWPharma. They include advanced municipal wastewater treatment, improved take-back schemes and disposal for unused medicines, dissemination of environmental data on pharmaceutical products, and environmental permitting of pharmaceutical plants. The best existing practices of the partner countries will be shared in order to promote the sustainable management of APIs in the Baltic Sea region.

The project outputs include estimation on current API emissions for the Baltic Sea region, guidelines on advanced wastewater treatment, recommendations on low-tech practices to control and reduce API emissions, and an overall plan on the best emission reduction measures. The results will be shared via dialogues, training and guidance with target groups in the partner countries during the project implementation, and in the final conference, which will ensure the efficient utilization and replication of the results. The project outputs will help a large number of stakeholders from wastewater treatment plant operators and doctors to local, regional, national and even EU authorities to reduce the API emissions into the environment.

CWPharma is supported by EUSBSR Policy Area Hazards as integrated part of flagship on Pharmaceuticals in the environment (PIE) – a Baltic Sea Region cooperation platform.

The Consortium

  • Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Finland (Lead Partner)
  • County administrative board Östergötland (CAB), Sweden
  • Estonian Environmental Research Centre, Estonia
  • Berlin Center for Competence of Water (KWB), Germany
  • Aarhus university, Denmark
  • Kalundborg Utility, Denmark
  • Tekniska verken i Linköping AB, Sweden
  • Finnish medicines agency (Fimea), Finland
  • Helsinki Region Environmental services Authority (HSY), Finland
  • Institute of Environmental Protection – National Research Institute (IOS), Poland
  • Latvian Institute of Aquatic Ecology, Latvia
  • Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre, Latvia
  • Estonian Waterworks Association, Estonia
  • German Association for Water, Wastewater and Waste (DWA), Germany
  • German Environment Agency, Germany

Work Packages

  1. Project management and administration
  2. Comprehensive status of pharmaceuticals - improved knowledge on consumption, emissions, environmental levels and risks of pharmaceuticals
  3. Advanced wastewater treatment
  4. Low-tech risk reduction measures of pharmaceuticals
  5. Scenarios, conclusions and action plan

More information

Chemist Noora Perkola, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE
Tel. +358 295 251 507

The Baltic Sea region’s waste management for unused medicines must be improved 2020-09-03
CWPharma, a project funded by the EU’s Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme, has evaluated national-level practices for take-back and disposal of unused medicines and other pharmaceutical waste, for better understanding of the overall API situation in the region. Improper disposal of medicines is all too common and the implementation of take-back for unused medicines is highly heterogeneous in the region.
Read more
Published 2017-10-02 at 9:41, updated 2022-04-14 at 14:27

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