Apothecary bottles, collected during 'Operation garbage dump' - Check out the exhibition!

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

Foto voor homepage grachtwacht expo AZL
10 December 2022

Exhibition 'Operation garbagedump'

From surgical scissors and urinary tubes to pharmacy bottles, X-ray sheets and uranium glass. Accidently, one of our volunteers stumbled upon a 100-year-old dump of hospital waste, in the Zijl River, near Leiden.

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Lampen serie Uit de gracht 06
23 September 2022

From floating litter to design lamp

Launching lamp series 'Uit de gracht'. During the art route in Leiden on Saturday September 24 and Sunday September 25, light artist Mark Flipse will present the first lamps made from waste: 'uit de gracht' / 'from the canal'

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20 June 2022

Saturday 2 July 10 AM @ Beestenmarkt - Plastic Peukmeuk Leiden

Together with more than 50 cities and 11 countries, we are collecting as many cigarette butts as possible! We gather at 10 AM at the Beestenmarkt in Leiden and you can hand in the cigarette butts at our bridgehouse in Leiden, on the Marebrug.

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Events Events

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10 December - 1 April 2023 Expo

Operation garbage dump

Expo Vondst van de week

1 January - 31 December 2023 Varia

Find of the week


12 September - 31 December 2021 Clean up

Weekly clean-up

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