Amsterdam first Plastic Smart City

Amsterdam, 20 June 2019 – Amsterdam is the first city worldwide to join the Plastic Smart Cities initiative. Today the City of Amsterdam, WWF Netherlands and the Plastic Soup Foundation have signed a letter of intent to significantly reduce plastic pollution in the city.

The Plastic Soup Foundation will assist the City of Amsterdam and advise them in the development of an action programme and its implementation. The action programme should lead to a clean city in 2030, without plastic pollution. Trade and industry will also be involved in the approach to prevent plastic waste of plastic and promote circular solutions.

Plastic Smart Cities is a WWF initiative to motivate cities around the world – in particular the cities that are tourist hotspots – to set clear and attainable targets to reduce plastic pollution in their city. The WWF aims to have recruited 1000 Plastic Smart Cities in 2030. Kirsten Schuijt, Director of WWF-Netherlands, announced also being in contact with, among others, Oslo, Marseille and Hong Kong. ” Through its global presence the WWF can help cities situated at the water to connect to each other. That way they can learn from each other about the reduction of plastic pollution. Half the world’s population now lives in cities and this will only increase in the coming decades. Cities can make all the difference by being active and innovative in dealing with the reduction of plastic pollution. I am proud that Amsterdam is now taking the lead. ”

Kirsten Schuijt and Jeroen Dagevos watch Constance Steenkamp-Faaij signing the letter of intent on behalf of the municipality of Amsterdam.

Constance Steenkamp-Faaij, manager in the department responsible for the daily visual quality of public space in Amsterdam, signed the letter of intent on behalf of the city of Amsterdam. She announced that as a pilot a capture system for plastic waste in the water in Amsterdam will be installed at a location to be announced later. “Make no mistake, Amsterdam has 400 km of quays and banks. Almost 40 percent of the city’surface consists of water. We are totally connected with water. We must do all we can to keep the problem of plastic pollution manageable. For this reason we invite citizens to help us find solutions to prevent litter in the canals ”

Litter invariably takes first place when surveys question Amsterdam citizens about their annoyances in public space. “Every day, Waternet takes 3.5 tonnes of waste out of the water. This is not just plastic, but also bicycles, televisions and other junk. Annually, the Netherlands spends 250 million euros on the clearing and processing of litter. These numbers indicate the importance of a city like Amsterdam continuing to take steps forward on this issue. ”

Requirements they have to comply with are already established with the approximately 2,500 festivals that are organized annually in Amsterdam. These do not only involve the sound level, but also regulate the waste management at festivals. In 2020 the licensing policy will be further tightened.

Jeroen Dagevos, Head of Programs of the Plastic Soup Foundation, also signed the letter of intent. “This is a first step and it is now important realize matters. There will be a pilot in which waste is collected and monitored so that measures can be taken to stop leakage at the source. We welcome this, the beauty of pilots is that you can see if measures work. Plastic production will increase further in the coming years. It is therefore extremely important that we get its leakage to the environment under control. Otherwise our children will ask us what we actually did when we knew how much plastic was leaked into the sea and what the impact was on humans and animals.”

The city of Amsterdam and the Plastic Soup Foundation have already been working together within the Amsterdam Clean Water covenant that was established in 2016.

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Amsterdam Clean Water publishes clip about clean canals in the city