The canal is a reflection of human activity. We used to have a sea of plastic cups after big events, but thanks to the efforts of Canal Cups, this image belongs to the past. After the outbreak of Corona, the canal once again manages to hold up a mirror to us.
During the period of hoarding, we saw an increase in the number of plastic shopping bags in the water. Also, the packaging of toilet paper and a flood of hygienic waste such as sanitary wipes and gloves were observed. In addition, a new disposable plastic product entered the canal: within two weeks after the corona outbreak in the Netherlands, we already found the first face mask in the water. Plastic Spotter Auke-Florian also told us about this at the talk show Op1.
By now, face masks and gloves are everywhere in the canal and on the street. A national study by Dirk Groot and Merijn Tinga into the distribution of corona litter has even yielded more than 6000 observations via the app 'Plastic Avengers.' Although corona waste is still a small part of the total amount of waste on the streets and in the canals, it symbolizes the carelessness of our plastic disposable society.
Plastic Spotter wants to prevent corona litter and developed a poster campaign together with Leiden illustrator Anna June van Duijn. Due to the crisis, the poster signs in the city were empty, but with the corona posters, the pillars and posters' signs have been decorated again. Take a look at the Peperbus at Lange Gracht 70 in Leiden! Thanks to the posters, fellow city dwellers get a picture of the special animal and plant species that can be seen in Leiden during a daily stroll. And if they can prevent some litter, that's great! Incidentally, we do not recommend picking up Corona waste ourselves because of the possible risk of contamination. A good reason to make sure it does not end up on the street in the first place.
Impact on nature
Plastic in nature is never without its dangers and the danger of entanglement of the rubber bands of the mouth caps has already led to dead birds. Nature is also sick, plastic sick! Just as with the disposable cups, there is also a sustainable alternative available for the single-use oral caps, namely reusable oral caps.
Pick up posters
Have you seen the posters yet? Volunteers have already put them up all over the city. One in front of your window? Let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
This action is co-funded with a corona contribution from the H.L. Drucker Fund.