2020/09/15 –  Research bubble Barrier Amsterdam 
What does the Bubble Barrier catch?
[ 15-9-2020 ] In the run-up to this Saturday’s World Cleanup Day 2020 a research alliance into the plastic catch of the Bubble Barrier at the Westerdok in Amsterdam is announced. The Plastic Soup Foundation is in the process of examining this captured canal plastic on behalf of the Regional Water Authority Amstel, Gooi and Vecht. 

Plastic Soup Foundation is looking into which items are being caught by the Bubble Barrier; how much plastic is caught; which brands are common and whether the waste can be traced back to its source. This is important information to effectively prevent plastic waste from entering the canals in the future. For example, the data could inform conversations with producers about alternatives to disposable plastic packaging and a rapid introduction of a deposit on cans.

This Saturday is World Cleanup Day 2020 when volunteers remove as much litter as possible on land, although environmental campaigners believe a ban on certain disposable products and a switch to sustainable packaging is the best way to fight against plastic soup.

What does the research look like?
With the help of a team of volunteers, the waste collected by the Bubble Barrier bubble screen is dried, sorted and analysed for over a year. The waste is categorised within the so-called OSPAR method. There are more than 100 OSPAR categories within this method, which will provide valuable information when the monitoring period has ended. Not only will knowledge on the functioning of the Bubble Barrier bubble screen be gained, but also about the many sources, the kind of plastic pollution and the variations of plastic waste per season.  

Although the corona measures postponed the start of the monitoring research, the collected waste was already kept separate for several months. During the lockdown, very few people have been in the public space and major public events such as King’s Day and The Pride have been cancelled. It is expected these exceptional circumstances will influence the analysis of the collected waste.


Catch of the month
Every month we highlight pieces of plastic caught by our Bubble Barrier Amsterdam in a new release of the ‘Catch of the month’.

Follow us on Instagram or Facebook to learn about the most caught and unique items.

Research partners

This research is carried out by the Plastic Soup Foundation and commissioned by Waterschap, Amstel, Gooi and Vecht and the Municipality of Amsterdam.

Press and media

For more information view the press release or download the press kit.
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