Hoboken - About one hundred employees of A.S.Adventure collected no less than 321 kilograms of waste along the banks of the Scheldt in Hoboken. They did so on the occasion of World Water Day and to highlight the collaboration with River Cleanup. "To change things on a large scale, we need to work together," says Thomas de Groote of River Cleanup.
Article by Gazet van Antwerpen
The employees of A.S.Adventure in Hoboken went on an adventure in the Hoboken Polder.
Accompanied by River Cleanup, they took up the gauntlet against litter and more specifically all the washed-up plastics along the banks of the Scheldt. And they had their work cut out for them. After an hour and a half, they picked up 321 kilograms of waste.
Some of the loot was cleaned up by Sally, Julie, Fee and Bo of A.S.Adventure. "We actually expected to find large pieces of plastics," says the foursome. "But it's mostly very small pieces that we have to fish between the branches and bushes. A striking amount of Styrofoam-bolls too, but also the craziest things, like golf balls. We were wondering just now how long this would have stayed here if we hadn't passed through today. You can't see from the footpath how much garbage is washed up down there, but it's a lot. We've been here for half an hour and we're still at it."
World Water Day
The occasion for the cleanup campaign was World Water Day on March 22, which focuses worldwide on the importance of water. Every year, 11 billion kilograms of plastic end up in our oceans. Much of it ends up there via the rivers. Plastic pollution is one serious environmental problem and River Cleanup is one of the organizations pulling the strings to help eradicate that problem. The ambition is to collectively remove 100 million kilograms of plastics from rivers and oceans worldwide by 2025.
And A.S.Adventure also wants to do its part. The two organizations have entered into a partnership, which they want to highlight with Tuesday's action. "This is the first action of many," says Bea De Beuckelaer, CEO Retail Concepts. "We are strongly committed to sustainability and have been working for fifteen years with Natuurpunt and now also with River Cleanup. We support them financially, but it is also our intention to get our employees and customers even more involved in this. Among other things, we sell sustainable drinking cans, the proceeds of which go to River Cleanup. And we also want to start selling waste grabbers, with our logo on them."
Thomas de Groote, founder and CEO of River Cleanup, also participated in the action. "Every time, it never ceases to amaze me how much trash and plastics are lying around," he says. "That's why it remains important to continue to work on this. A recent study by Plastic Soup Foundation showed that we ingest about 5 micrograms of microplastics per week. Per person. That's the equivalent of a bank card. And to achieve our 2025 ambition of removing 100 million kilograms of river plastics from our waters, we need not only people, but also money. It's as simple as that. That's why we love to partner with companies that fully support our vision. We realize all too well that we can only change things on a large scale by working together."