On a mission to clean rivers

Our mission

River Cleanup is a global network organization on a mission to clean rivers by empowering people, preventing pollution, and accelerating change.

The problem: plastic pollution

Every day, 10 million kg of plastic ends up in rivers and other nature. This harms marine life, disrupts ecosystems, and pollutes the global water cycle. The plastics break down into micro- and nanoplastics that end up in the human food chain, causing hormone disruption, infertility and other severe health issues.

Our solution: The Clean River Model

Using our Clean River Model, we can prevent new plastic pollution and clean up legacy pollution. The model integrates strategic and early interventions in the plastic lifecycle: from raising awareness and the reduction of virgin plastic use, to circular economy solutions. It focusses on maximum impact, is highly scalable, open-source, and combines technology and human behavior change. 


Our goal is to deploy the Clean River Model along 100 rivers by 2030 and to reach 1 000 plastic-free rivers by 2050


Discover the Clean River Model 


Local awareness campaigns generate enthusiasm and make people see the problem so they can change their behavior and become part of the solution. Through educational programs, students and teachers are activated to become ambassadors within their families and communities. Local leaders are empowered to take ownership and anchor the change within their communities.


We reduce single-use plastics by promoting sustainable alternatives, implementing plastic reduction projects, and sharing knowledge & best practices. The deployment of accessible collection systems (for example EcoBins) prevents plastic waste from entering nature. Riverine pollution is removed with cleanup actions and technologies like trash barriers, and the recovered materials are repurposed. We choose and promote circular economy solutions.


We generate data, provide insights, and inform authorities on sources of river pollution. Next, we propose short-term remediations, promote structural solutions, and advocate policy change. Our teams clarify and monitor compliance with relevant regulation, e.g., UN Global Plastic Treaty, and actively engage and collaborate within a network of like-minded organizations, both non-profit and for-profit.

Our impact

  • 5767


  • 271239


  • 3579878

    surinkta kg

Take action

Do a cleanup and become part of positive change. Joining is an easy and fun first step towards plastic-free rivers. If you're up for more action, you can organize your own cleanup! We will support you every step of the way.


Join or organize


With your support we can realize our mission and make rivers plastic-free! You can donate, organize a fundraiser or include River Cleanup in your will. You can also take action as a company. Will you give future generations a life without plastic pollution? Help us build EcoBins to collect plastic waste and fund high-impact cleanups to remove plastics from rivers.

Donate for plastic-free rivers

The Source

Why do plastic-free rivers matter to you? Whatever your personal motivation is, you can take action today. We're gathering a small and dedicated group of philanthropists to support our organizational capacity with multi-annual funding. So we can make an impact today and reach our future goals. You'll be one of our most visionary partners and most outspoken champions.


Learn more about The Source

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