The ‘Clean Rivers’ initiative is a collaboration between IVN, Plastic Soup Foundation and Stichting De Noordzee to stop the flow of plastic through rivers at the source. The next five years these three organizations will not only clean up the riverbanks of the Meuse and Waal, but will also, with the help of volunteers, start a large-scale waste research. The goal of Clean Rivers is to gain more insight into the amounts, composition and source of the waste along rivers. The Netherlands has never seen such a large research into river waste with the help of ‘citizen science’: data collection for research purposes by volunteers.
The topic of plastic soup is high on the social agenda. There are many initiatives around the globe to clean up waste and reduce the huge amount of plastic in the oceans. In addition to cleanup initiatives we also need knowledge into the origins of waste in order to handle the problem at the source. Moreover, the plastic waste supply from rivers is an overlooked problem. The Institute for environmental education and sustainability (IVN), Plastic Soup Foundation (PSF) and Stichting De Noordzee (North Sea Foundation) have joined forces to change this.