Hundreds of volunteers gather to pick up trash on Dutch beaches annual cleanup kicks off
Hundreds of volunteers will start a fifteen-day clean-up operation of the entire Dutch coast on Tuesday. During the Boskalis Beach Cleanup Tour, volunteers will clean up a few kilometers of beach every day in the north and south, starting in Cadzand in Zeeland and Schiermonnikoog. Over the next two weeks, they’ll work towards each other, ending up together in Zandvoort.
The clean-up is organized by the North Sea Foundation, an environmental organization committed to making fishing more sustainable and protecting the North Sea nature, among other things. With the cleaning campaign on the beaches, the foundation wants to raise the problem of litter in the sea. Research by the North Sea Foundation shows that there are an average of 282 pieces of waste per 100 meters along the North Sea coast.
According to the organization, most beach waste consists of snack packaging, balloon remains, caps, and plastic bags. Cigarette filters are also a significant problem, with last summer’s cleaning campaign collecting nearly 87,000 butts from the beaches. According to the organization, one cigarette butt, whose filter consists largely of plastic and toxic substances, can pollute about eight liters of seawater.
Last year, the volunteers cleaned up over 4,400 kilograms of waste, about 90 full wheelie bins. A remarkable find last year was an apple juice packaging from 1983 which, according to the North Sea Foundation, once again showed that plastic waste does not decay.
Since the start of the campaign in 2013, over 103,000 kilograms of waste have been cleaned up from the Dutch beaches.
This year’s cleaning campaign ends in two weeks, on Tuesday, August 15.
Reporting by ANP