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.
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.
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.
Bubble Barrier Katwijk Partners
Bubble Barrier Katwijk was made possible thanks to
The implementation of the Bubble Barrier was made in collaboration with
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Never enough bubbles
Get inspired by other locations of Bubble Barriers!
In the fall of 2019, the first Bubble Barrier was implemented which will remain in place for a long period of time in the capital of the Netherlands: Amsterdam! This Bubble Barrier was installed by The Great Bubble Barrier at one of the outlets from the canals into the IJ. This Bubble Barrier prevents canal plastics from flowing into the North Sea. It is our first Bubble Barrier in our global fight against plastic pollution.
A Bubble Barrier was installed at a wastewater treatment plant in Wevershoof, North Holland, right after the wastewater treatment installation in the effluent canal.
This Bubble Barrier is part of a research on microplastics together with PWN (a drinking water company); Hoogheemraadschap Hollands Noorderkwartier (HHNK – a water management board); and KWR ( a water research institute).
Bubble Barrier Porto region is set to be fully implemented in 2022 preventing plastic pollution from flowing into the Atlantic. This Bubble Barrier will be implemented as part of project MAELSTROM – a EU co-funded project dedicated to the mitigation of marine litter impact in coastal ecosystems.