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Launch of the Canal Cups Expo: No excuse for Single-use

Emily den Boer of LAPP visited the Canal Cups Expo, displaying the plastic cups cleaned up by students after Leidens Ontzet.

Weeks after the celebration of Leidens Ontzet, an annual event in memorial of the siege of Leiden during the Eighty Years’ War and the liberation on October 3rd, 1574, many plastic cups can still be found in the canals. With over 650.000 visitors each year, a few cleaning sessions in the area are not sufficient to get rid of the plastic cups in the streets and canals. The many cups that are left behind will in no time (with a strong wind within one day!) enter the sea nearby Katwijk.

This year after the cleanings, Auke-Florian Hiemstra and fellow students have fished thousands of plastic beer cups out of the canals while canoeing. They photographed each single plastic beer cup. Now they share a photo a day on their Canal Cups-account on Instagram with the hashtag #onecupaday. They will continue to do so until the municipality of Leiden will use reusable cups at the Leidens Ontzet.

In order to raise even more awareness, they set up an impressive exposition at the Old School in Leiden. On December 29th, Menno Bentveld (Vroege Vogels) and Kees Moeliker (Natuurhistorisch Museum Rotterdam) kicked off the exposition. The McFlurry hedgehog, brought by Kees Moeliker, served as an example for the harm plastic can cause to animals and the environment.

Not only are the canals in Leiden freed from the Spanish men, soon hopefully also from plastic beer cups. At last, we are the solution to the plastic pollution!

The Canal Cups Expo is open until 10 February @ Old School, Pieterskerkhof 4a, Leiden.

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