- Title: Amsterdam trials "bubble barrier" to clean river waste
- Date: 17th December 2019
- Summary: AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS (DECEMBER 16, 2019) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WORKER FROM WATERNET, THE REGIONAL WATER AUTHORITY, SAILING ON THE CANAL LOOKING FOR PLASTIC WASTE VARIOUS OF BOAT WORKERS CATCHING PLASTIC WASTE VARIOUS OF FRANCIS ZOET (29), TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF THE GREAT BUBBLE BARRIER, STANDING NEAR CANAL (SOUNDBITE) (English) TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF THE GREAT BUBBLE BARRIER, FRANCIS ZOET (29), SAYING: "A bubble barrier is basically a tube that we place on the bottom of the river or canal that has holes in it and we press air through it that creates a bubble curtain like you see behind me. The air brings plastics that are floating in the water to the surface and because we placed it in an angle it redirects the natural flow of the river and the plastics that are in there to the side where we collect it and where it can be removed." GARBAGE COLLECTING BOAT SAILING OVER THE BUBBLE BARRIER TO GARBAGE COLLECTOR WORKER ATTACHING BOAT VARIOUS OF BOAT WORKERS NEAR GARBAGE COLLECTOR SIGN ON BOAT SHOWS WITH WATERNET LOGO ROY LEYSNER, PROJECT MANAGER AT WATERNET, STANDING IN FRONT OF THE CANAL GARBAGE BOAT WORKERS WAVING AT LEYSNER (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROJECT MANAGER AT WATERNET, ROY LEYSNER, SAYING: "We have four boats in the canals every day and they collect around 42 thousand kilos of plastics a year, but that is only the plastic that floats and the "Great Bubble Barrier" is an idea that also can catch plastics which is under the water surface and also the smaller pieces, which the boats don't get." BOAT WORKER PUTTING A HOOK ON GARBAGE COLLECTING SYSTEM VARIOUS OF GARBAGE COLLECTING SYSTEM BEING LIFTED GARBAGE COLLECTING SYSTEM ON BOAT GARBAGE COLLECTED SEEN IN BOAT (SOUNDBITE) (English) PROJECT MANAGER AT WATERNET, ROY LEYSNER, SAYING: "What people don't realise is that every piece of plastic which falls into the water in the canals is eventually flowing out to the North Sea. We want to prevent that, that less plastic is flowing out to the North Sea and otherwise we also want to give insight into the total plastic problem because the best is of course that no plastic falls into water in the first place." HAND OF LEYSNER ON THE CANAL RAILING LEYSNER TALKING TO GARBAGE BOAT WORKERS VARIOUS OF WASTE FALLING INTO GARBAGE BOAT (SOUNDBITE) (English) TECHNICAL DIRECTOR OF THE GREAT BUBBLE BARRIER, FRANCIS ZOET (29), SAYING: "We believe that we need all hands on deck to make sure we find a solution so we are very welcome of course also for the RiverCleanup system that the OceanCleanup has developed and we also believe that we can combine the two very well as well. Because our system also catches over the full width of the river and also reaches the entire depth. So it can be a very nice combination as well. But we promote basically every initiative that is focused on reducing the plastic soup." SIGN ON ZOET'S JACKET WITH LOGO OF THE GREAT BUBBLE BARRIER BUBBLE BARRIER IN THE CANAL SEEN AS ZOET IS TALKING VARIOUS OF GARBAGE BOAT SAILING ON CANAL
- Embargoed: 31st December 2019 12:16
- Keywords: Amsterdam canals Bubble Barrier Pollution bubbles garbage collector oceans plastic
- Location: AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
- City: AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS
- Country: Netherlands
- Topics: Pollution,Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA001BAD7E4N
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Amsterdam is trying out a "bubble barrier" to help remove plastic from the city's canals by capturing trash hidden beneath the surface of the water.
While the project launched in November is just a small-scale test right now, the start-up behind it hopes it could be deployed elsewhere, if successful.
Because the tube lies diagonally across the canal, the bubbles work with the flow of water in the canal to float the waste and then shuttle it into a collector on the side, said Francis Zoet, the Great Bubble Barrier project's technical director.
Bubbles do not interfere with passing boats, and do not pose a major obstacle for fish or birds.
While Amsterdam already has four boats that collect around 42,000 kg of plastic a year, the boats can only pick up the rubbish on the surface and some smaller pieces are missed altogether, said Roy Leysner of Waternet, part of the local water authority which is funding the project together the City of Amsterdam.
Rivers are a major conduit of plastic pollution into the world's oceans, carrying up to 4 million metric tonnes of plastic to the sea each year, according to estimates by the Hemholtz Centre for Environmental Research in Germany.
Another Dutch non-profit, called OceanCleanup, has also launched a system to collect surface river trash using floating barriers.
Zoet of the Amsterdam project said the two concepts are complementary. "We support "basically every initiative that is focused on reducing the plastic soup", she said.
(Production Hilde Verweij, Bart Biesemans, Hortense de Roffignac)
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