De Grachtwacht conducts research into urban nature and the impact of plastic on nature. With our clean-ups, we not only collect waste, but also data. In this way, we try to find out the source of the waste and turn off the tap on shore. This way, less plastic ends up in the canal!
Of all the plastic in canals and rivers, only 2% ends up in the sea. The rest, the remaining 98%, gets stuck behind water plants or sinks to the bottom for example. Unlike with plastic pollution on beaches or in the sea, little is known about plastic in freshwater. Therefor it's important to study it; and that's what we do at 'De Grachtwacht' together with Leiden University, Wageningen University and our passionate Plastic Spotters. Through citizen science, we work with more than 500 volunteers and conduct real scientific research that is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Research from Leiden, with an international impact. Our clean-ups have already been picked up by CNN, The Guardian and National Geographic. We not only remove plastic from the canals, we also contribute to more knowledge about plastic pollution. By tracing and tackling the source, we prevent plastic from ending up in the water. This is how we are working on structurally reducing the amount of plastic in the canal - and with success!