2020/11/07 –  1 year anniversary Bubble Barrier Amsterdam

1 year anniversary Bubble Barrier Amsterdam!

[ 7-11-2020 ] It’s the Bubble Barrier’s birthday! The Bubble Barrier has been in the canal of the Westerdok in Amsterdam for a year now. Let’s look back on the first year.

How is it going with the Bubble Barrier Amsterdam?

The Bubble Barrier is fully operational and we can see that in the amount of waste that is removed from the water every week. We are capturing both larger and smaller trash objects and both hard and soft plastics. We find many common and obvious plastic items. Think of cigarette filters, small pieces of plastic and candy, snacks, and chips packaging. But we also come across unusual items such as a surfboard, a sleeping bag, and multiple scooter helmets.

The amount of waste that the Bubble Barrier is catching depends on several factors. Recreation, tourism, currents, wind, and rain, among others, have an influence on the amount of waste which is caught every day.

What is the status of the research into the catch of the Bubble Barrier Amsterdam?

In August we started research into the catch of the Bubble Barrier together with the Plastic Soup Foundation and with the help of a group of enthusiastic volunteers. We started sorting the caught waste in a large warehouse. The research is manual labor and is very time-consuming. When the corona measures got stricter, we, unfortunately, had to stop the sorting of the catch.

This research aims to show the amount of plastic waste items found, the origin of these items, and the composition of the materials. Other research of the Dutch ‘Schone Rivieren-project’ (Clean Rivers project) and the World Cleanup Day has shown that bottles and cans make up a large share of the trash found along the banks of rivers.

On July 1, 2021, a deposit on small bottles will be implemented, and most likely on July 1, 2022, a deposit on cans in The Netherlands. It is expected that we will also see this change in the catch of the Bubble Barrier Amsterdam. The research into the catch of the Bubble Barrier Amsterdam will hopefully provide insights into the positive effect of the introduction of deposit schemes on plastic bottles.

When will the results of the research be published?

We aim to publish the report on the catch of the Bubble Barrier Amsterdam in the first quarter of 2022. However, the spread of COVID-19 and the accompanying measure and needed precautions may have an impact on the publication date.

In short, unfortunately, more detailed information about quantities, types, and origin of plastic waste will have to wait a little longer. What we do know is that the Bubble Barrier Amsterdam has been capturing plastic waste in the Westerdok for a year now and has ensured that a large amount of plastic waste did not flow into our oceans and we are proud of that!

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 download the press kit.
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