Plastic soup stuck between quay and houseboat: a new landing net solves the problem

Amsterdam, July 5th, 2018 – Floating plastic waste that accumulates between quays and houseboats is difficult to remove. The plastic waste cannot be reached from the water, because the boats are in the way, and removing the waste while remaining on shore is difficult and labour intensive. This is a problem for the authorities and the houseboat community.

In 2014, the approach to plastic waste in open water was examined in the Netherlands, and the report concluded that the situation was especially problematic in urban areas. It concluded furthermore that solutions for urban regions were insufficiently implemented in the policies. The clean-up is expensive and the cooperation between the different organisations and services insufficient. Two possible solutions were suggested to aid houseboat owners:

  • Fit floating barriers between the boat and the quay
  • Equip houseboat owners with suitable tools, such as containers and landing nets for waste

Many houseboat owners are willing to participate, despite the effort needed to collect waste from the water, as it improves their surrounding environment immediately. Thus far, city councils and water management departments have not provided houseboat owners with suitable equipment. Partly because existing landing nets are not suitable for the task. The nets are designed to get fish from the water or leaves from a pool, and therefore unable to cope with heavier waste.

But since a few months, there is a landing net on the market suitable for collecting waste. Goodtogather has been selling this sturdy landing net especially designed for collecting floating waste. A few Amsterdam houseboat owners have developed this net. With the long and sturdy wooden handle (2 to 4 metres), heavier objects, such as buckets, 2-litre soda bottles or jerry cans are no problem for this landing net. The costs are kept to a minimum and the nets are produced in Haiti as part of a community development project.

It is high time these nets should be made available to people living on houseboats. As it is, compared to the alternatives, a very cheap solution.

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