Perch in corona glove ( GW9899-1E), found in the Oude Vest in Leiden on 3 June 2020 during a Plastic Spotter canal clean-up

De Grachtwacht

What beautiful canals we have in Leiden! With 'De Grachtwacht' (translated: The Canalwatch) we are working on plastic-free canals and make people aware of the urban nature in and around the canal. With the Plastic Spotter canoe fleet, we organise weekly clean-ups and conduct real scientific research into plastic pollution. Not only do we clean the city, we also analyse where this waste comes from in order to turn off the tap. We exhibit our most exciting finds in the windows of the bridge keeper's house on the Marebrug in Leiden. Here, right above the canal, we coordinate the clean-up actions, welcome our volunteers and process the material from the clean-ups together. Our team is more than 500 volunteers strong! Subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye on this website for more information about our exhibitions, research and other news.

Support our work

The clean-ups, the research and our exhibitions are entirely dependent on funds and donations. Donate here to help us continue our work. Every donation is welcome. Enjoy the clean canals!


News News

04 August 2021

Vrijwilligers in de National Geographic

In het augustusnummer van de Nederlandse National Geographic is er aandacht voor verschillende projecten waarbij vrijwilligers samenwerken met wetenschappers: burgerwetenschappen! Ook in Leiden vaarden ze mee met een clean-up en schitterden de Plastic Spotter vrijwilligers in het magazine.

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19 May 2021

Rapport Plasticvrij Terras overhandigd

Van al het verzamelde terras-afval tijdens clean-ups in de zomer van 2020 hebben we een rapport opgesteld. Deze overhandigden vrijwilligers aan de wethouder Yvonne van Delft. Lees hem nu online!

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Auke Florian Hiemstra Liselotte Rambonnet with perch entrapped in glove Alexander Schippers 2
24 March 2021

Corona waste kills animals all over the world

The mouth masks and gloves that are supposed to protect us are actually dangerous for the animals around us. All over the world, on land and in water, animals get entangled or get corona waste in their stomachs, Leiden scientists warn. They are asking for everyone's help to map out the consequences.

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Events Events

Perch trapped in glove Auke Florian Hiemstra

1 March - 30 November 2021 Expo

Nature in times of corona


18 - 18 September 2021 Varia

Our coot is breeding!


12 September - 31 December 2021 Clean up

Weekly clean-up

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