Cleaning the waters of Copenhagen

Volunteers paddling through Nyhavn.
Photo: Renske Van Hoof

Each year, an amount of 8 million tons of plastic finds its way into our oceans, states the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). In Copenhagen, an initiative to solve this problem has arisen. With the help of volunteers and a kayak, plastics get fished out of the waters of the city.

By Renske Van Hoof

According to WWF, World Wide Fund for Nature, there are three ways for our plastic waste to end up in the water.

Firstly, plastic which is not thrown into the right bin will be used for landfill. Due to the light weight, it is often blown away.

Then there is litter dropped onto the streets.

Lastly there’s products which go down the drain.

GreenKayak, has found a way to get plastic out of the water. Volunteers can rent a kayak for free in exchange for picking up some trash along the way.

“Approximately 40 percent of our volunteers are tourists, the others are people from within the country”, says Oke Carstensen from GreenKayak.

What happens to the rubbish which is fished out, depends from country to country. “Here in Denmark the plastic gets incinerated”, elaborates Carstensen.