People in the Netherlands use 26 billion pieces of plastic food packaging per year - 1,500 pieces of plastic per Dutch person per year, or four per day, according to a study by ING Economic Bureau. And plastic consumption continues to grow along with the population, increasing by around 100 million pieces of packaging every year, NOS reports.
A total of 2,568 volunteers picked up 10,991 kilograms of waste on Dutch beaches during the North Sea foundation's great cleanup, the foundation announced at the end of the two-week long cleanup campaign on Thursday. Last year, 11,163 kilograms of trash was removed from Dutch beaches, Het Parool reports.
Since 2010 Dutch banks and insurers provided around 7.9 billion euros in financing to large shale gas and plastic companies, according to research by the Fair Banking and Insurance Guide. ING was the largest Dutch financier for these companies, investing 3.5 billion euros into them, NU.nl reports.
Dutch supermarkets are determined to use less and more sustainable packaging, according to supermarkets' association CBL. The goal is to reduce packaging material by 20 percent by 2025, RTL Nieuws reports.
The supermarkets will start with the handling of fruit and vegetables. "The most important question is what the function of the packaging is. Where it is possible and also the sustainable solution, packaging material will be significantly reduced."
Dutch public works department Rijkswaterstaat is launching an investigation into what consequences small plastic particles that ended up in the Wadden sea after 291 containers fell off a ship in the North Sea last week will have for animals in the area. The investigation will be done in cooperation with scientific institute Waddenacademie in Leeuwarden. The results will also show which measures can be taken so that the Wadden Sea is better protected, NU.nl reports.
The great ocean cleanup by 24-year-old Dutch man Boyan Slat and his company Ocean Cleanup is finally underway. Slat's 600 meter long 'plastic catcher' departed from San Francisco on Saturday and is on its way to clean up the plastic soup in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii, NOS reports.
Albert Heijn wants to stop using plastic bags in its fruit and vegetable departments. The Dutch supermarket chain will start experimenting with alternatives in 10 stores this summer, a spokesperson for Albert Heijn said to RTL Nieuws.
"Reducing plastic has had our attention for some time", the spokesperson said. "The so-called loop bags at the cash register have become thinner and smaller, so we save about 10 percent of plastic, and containers with soft fruit now have plastic foil as a lid instead of a hard plastic lid."
Dutch inventor Boyan Slat's Ocean Cleanup project received an extra investment of 21.7 million dollars. That brings the total up to 31.5 million dollars in donations received since 2013 - enough to start large scale testing. The company hopes to launch a large test in the Pacific Ocean by autumn, RTL Nieuws reports.
The biggest part of the new investment consists of donations from Marc and Lynne Benioff and an anonymous donor, according to the company.
Nearly 1,500 volunteers took to North Sea beaches throughout August, cleaning up over 20,000 kilograms of trash left in the sand. Dubbed the "Boskalis Cleanup Beach Tour," the initiative scooped up three times more garbage then last year's effort.
The 19-year old Delft inventor and student Boyan Slat has already received a lot of support for his Ocean Cleanup project. The plan to fish plastic out of the world's oceans would cost $2 million in its first test phase. In the last two months, more than half of that has already been raised.