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The Grachtwacht (Canal Watch) conducts research on urban wildlife and the impact of plastic on nature. With our clean-ups, we not only collect waste, but also data. This way we try to find out the source of the waste and turn off the tap on shore. This way there is structurally less plastic in the canal!

Of all the plastic in canals and rivers, only 2% ends up in the sea. The rest, the remaining 98%, gets stuck behind aquatic plants, flows inland, or sinks to the bottom, for example. In contrast to plastic on beaches or in the sea, much is still unknown about plastic in fresh water. So it's important to do research into it; and that's what we do at 'De Grachtwacht' together with Leiden University and Wageningen University, and our passionate Plastic Spotters.

Through citizen science, we work with more than 500 volunteers and conduct real scientific research that is published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Leiden research, with an international impact. Our clean-ups have already been picked up by CNN, The Guardian and National Geographic. Not only do we remove plastic from canals, we also contribute to more knowledge about plastic pollution. By tracing and tackling the source, we prevent plastic from ending up in the water. In this way we are working together to structurally reduce the amount of plastic in the canal; and with success!

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