Bubble Barrier Katwijk

What started in 2018 as an initiative of concerned citizens, has now grown into a unique, widely supported mission to tackle plastic pollution in the Katwijk region, in The Netherlands. This movement has led to the implementation of Bubble Barrier, stopping plastic pollution before reaching the North Sea.

The Location


Located within one kilometre from the sea in the Oude Rijn, Bubble Barrier Katwijk is strategically placed to catch as much plastic pollution as possible. The problem is being tackled in Katwijk but has a broader effect: plastic pollution from the entire region upstream will be stopped.

The Oude Rijn also acted as the northern border of the Roman Empire which was called ‘Limes’. It stretched for about 400 kilometres between Katwijk (Netherlands) on the North Sea to Bad Breisig in Rhineland-Palatinate and part of it was named UNESCO World Heritage in 2021.

Bubble Barrier Katwijk is the first Bubble Barrier in a river mouth and the first Bubble Barrier initiated by local residents.

Katwijk Plastic

The Project

A local initiative led project

The Coast Busters, a local initiative organising various activities to fight plastic pollution such as beach clean-up and awareness activities in Katwijk, realised the size of the issue of plastic pollution and decided to act.

On the look for a long-term solution to this growing problem, they involved the municipality and invited councillor Jacco Knape to see the problem with his own eyes.

Soon after, they gained the backing of the whole region, including the waterboard authority Hoogheemraadschap van Rijnland and neighbouring municipalities from Holland Rijnland and the province of Zuid-Holland.

A perfect example that shows that together – government, partners and residents – can make a difference.

Katwijk Plastic

our impact

Effectively removing plastic from waterways


of dry debris caught in Katwijk until July 2023*


of dry debris collected in Katwijk until July 2023*

*excl. organic matter; based on Bubble Barrier Amsterdam’s 1-year research

Bubble Barrier Katwijk Partners 

Bubble Barrier Katwijk was made possible thanks to

Project partners

The implementation of the Bubble Barrier was realised in collaboration with

Press and media

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