Cooperation for results
Results are of course the most important aspect of any action and project against riverine plastic pollution that Zero Plastic Rivers initiates together with its partners.
Because of the huge number of different aspects related to the problem, it is necessary to work on different domains in parallel. For this purpose, we create specific partnerships that are able to work independently for specific results, while being complementary for the overall program. This enables us to elaborate different parts of the problem and to deliver partial solutions and results that contribute to the overall solution.
In this context, Zero Plastic Rivers and its partners have realized the following results.
Related to the measurement of plastic pollution of a waterway
Concerning measurement, the doctoral research project "Plastic fluxes towards the ocean: contribution of the river Scheldt" has been initiated. This project aims to assess and quantify the plastic pollution of the river Scheldt based on sampling and statistical analysis. As such, this R&D-project runs from 2018 to 2022 and is funded and supported by a consortium of governmental organizations and industry.
Complementary, the research project "Semi-autonomous detection of suspended plastics in inland waterways" has been conducted at the University of Leuven, Faculty of Engineering Sciences. This project is the initial step related to the design, construction and implementation of an automated sensor-based measurement system. Essentially, this research has done a comparative analysis about the feasibility of various sensor-technologies for the detection and quantification of riverine plastic pollution.
In this context, Zero Plastic Rivers has also contacted a number of technology companies to continue and extend this research with the aim to design and build working sensor-based measurement systems. In addition, the relevant governmental organizations have been contacted to inquire for any interest in such measurement systems.
Related to catching and removing riverine plastic pollution
Concerning catching and removing of riverine plastic pollution, Zero Plastic rivers has brought together a number of organizations and companies to discuss and look for ways to find a solution. Resulting from this, “De Vlaamse Waterweg nv” has issued a Request for Proposal that gives interested companies and organizations the opportunity to propose their design for such an installation, with the possible opportunity for implementation and use by “De Vlaamse Waterweg nv”.
More information is available at the following links (in Dutch):
Related to the prevention of riverine plastic pollution
For the purpose of preventing riverine plastic pollution, Zero Plastic Rivers has started a cooperation with “De Mooimakers” (Mooimakers) to jointly inspire and motivate volunteers to start their own voluntary local initiatives for prevention and to support them if possible and appropriate.
Complementary, Zero Plastic Rivers works to create a network of such volunteers who are willing to voluntary start and organize actions for the prevention of riverine plastic pollution.
See the following article (in Dutch): Rivieren zijn de laatste linie tegen de plastic soep.
Since a considerable number of people and organizations show interest, Zero Plastic Rivers is preparing the next step to facilitate local prevention campaigns in the vicinity of rivers by volunteers who want to help to reduce plastic pollution of our rivers and waterways.