The municipalities of Alphen aan den Rijn, Bodegraven-Reeuwijk, Gouda, Rotterdam and Waddinxveen, the water boards of Delfland, Rijnland, Schieland and Krimpenerwaard, Rijkswaterstaat, Wageningen Environmental Research and the province of South Holland will collaborate to establish the first Plastic-free Corridor in the Netherlands. This commitment encompasses the area around the Gouwe, Hollandsche IJssel and Nieuwe Maas towards the North Sea. The parties signed a letter of intent for this purpose on Thursday 28 October.
There is still a lot of plastic to be found in and alongside Dutch waterways. This has a negative impact on our living environment and is a challenging issue requiring a collaborative approach. Delegate Meindert Stolk: ‘Plastic litter does not stay within municipal boundaries. It blows from the banks into the water and floats from one river into the next. This makes it a problem for us all. It is good that we are forming an agreement between so many parties today, to start working towards a solution. Onwards to the first Plastic-free Corridor!’
Collaborating to create a plastic-free corridor
The collaboration is dedicated to creating a clean, green and healthy habitat and aims to prevent plastic entering the environment in and around the Plastic-free Corridor. Strategies for accomplishing this include raising awareness about the impact of plastics on the environment, engaging businesses, closing loops and including new parties in the plastic-free vision.
This will involve close collaboration with networks that are already operating in the field of plastics, such as the Community of Practice (CoP) Plastic, Clean NL Delta and the new South Holland collaboration Plastics in the Environment: a growing partnership between governments that uses knowledge about plastics in the environment to inform and undertake administrative actions. Together with these networks, we can connect to share knowledge with and strengthen each other.
The power of Green Circles
The Plastic-free Corridor is part of the Green Circles programme in which companies, governments and researchers join forces to create a sustainable and healthy living environment. We believe that it is possible to achieve systemic change by focusing on the common interest and interdependencies between producers, major users of plastics, consumers and governments. This system change is urgently needed in the successful transition to a circular plastic chain.