Perch in corona glove ( GW9899-1E), found in the Oude Vest in Leiden on 3 June 2020 during a Plastic Spotter canal clean-up

De Grachtwacht

What beautiful canals we have in Leiden! With 'De Grachtwacht' (translated: The Canalwatch) we are working on plastic-free canals and make people aware of the urban nature in and around the canal. With the Plastic Spotter canoe fleet, we organise weekly clean-ups and conduct real scientific research into plastic pollution. Not only do we clean the city, we also analyse where this waste comes from in order to turn off the tap. We exhibit our most exciting finds in the windows of the bridge keeper's house on the Marebrug in Leiden. Here, right above the canal, we coordinate the clean-up actions, welcome our volunteers and process the material from the clean-ups together. Our team is more than 500 volunteers strong! Subscribe to our newsletter and keep an eye on this website for more information about our exhibitions, research and other news.

Support our work

The clean-ups, the research and our exhibitions are entirely dependent on funds and donations. Donate here to help us continue our work. Every donation is welcome. Enjoy the clean canals!


News News

Eend April 2
01 April 2022

The first of April, litter in your bill

But litter is no joke. Especially plastic rings are dangerous for ducks, and unfortunately deadly for this duck from Alphen aan den Rijn who wasn't saved on time. That's why it is so important to clean-up (your) litter. You can visit him now 24/7 in our window exhibition, in the bridgehouse on the Marebrug, Leiden.

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Marktafval van één clean up Foto Grachtwacht Auke Florian Hiemstra
02 February 2022

Markt grootste vervuiler van Leiden

Meer dan 65 witte plastic tasjes, stapels dozen en piepschuimen bakken en 70 grote vellen bloemenfolie dreven in de Leidse gracht afgelopen zondag. En zo is het elke week raak. De markt is de grootste veroorzaker van zwerfafval in Leiden. Dat kan zo niet langer. De clean-up kanovloot Plastic Spotter roept de gemeente Leiden op tot actie

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17 December 2021

Face mask angels in the bridgehouse!

Thousands of single-use face masks were collected over the past two years, some of which we stored. Volunteer Pieter knew how to re-use them in a great way and folded them into Christmas angels! Together with volunteer Thalassa he decorated the bridge house with the angels and some Christmas lights! Come and check it out!

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Events Events

Perch trapped in glove Auke Florian Hiemstra

1 March - 31 May 2022 Expo

Nature in times of corona

15 February - 31 August 2022 Varia

Jonge meerkoeten!


12 September - 31 December 2021 Clean up

Weekly clean-up

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