Plastic Soup Surfer visits Wageningen to fight plastic waste


Merijn Tinga fights plastic waste in a very special way. He paddles through the Netherlands on his sup or surfboard made from plastic waste. You may already know him as Plastic Soup Surfer. As an artist, kite-surfer and environmental activist, he inspires young and old alike and makes a real difference.

With his previous actions, he played a major role in introducing a deposit on small plastic bottles and cans.

In addition to waste prevention by introducing a deposit, it also directs its actions towards manufacturers. Using Plastic Avengers app, you can share photos of plastic waste. It uses the data from this app as evidence to confront manufacturers about the polluting effect of their packaging or product and convince them to change it. With success!

The motivation for the current action

But that is not where the end of this battle lies. Last year he paddled in the Netherlands to draw attention to the sorting of waste in educational institutions. ‘Cause why don’t we go our separate ways there?

The reason is that waste from schools, clubs and institutions is officially not household waste, but industrial waste. Household waste is collected separately, while for commercial waste you have to contract for each type of waste. It is often too expensive for (educational) institutions. As a result, everything ends up in a pile in the incinerator.

Although his campaign last year drew a lot of attention to this issue, it did not come up with any concrete deal. That’s why he’s traveling 300 km from Den Ham to The Hague this week (September 1-10) with a proposed ending this time around.

Pit stop at the Wageningen campus

Along the way, he will stop to visit the Wageningen campus. He was invited by the 4TU Aanjagers, because researchers at Wageningen are also working hard on the plastic problem. For example, they research the recyclability of plastic, the consequences of plastic on the environment and how to prevent this environmental pollution.

Our recycling research

One of these researchers is Marieke Brouwer. She is researching the recyclability of plastic packaging. This shows that the proportion of recyclable plastic packaging has hardly increased over the past seven years and remains at 27%. But there are possibilities to improve this.

Want to know more about this research? Read this article:

Our research on plastic waste at sea

Other research focuses on the consequences of pollution. For example, did you know that the waste that ends up in the North Sea can reach the Arctic in a relatively short time?

In order to visualize and fight against these flows, Wouter Jan Strietman collects plastics washed up on the coasts of the European Arctic. He then investigates the origin of this plastic. The next step is to prevent the waste stream.

Want to know more about this research? Read this article:

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. See it in full here.

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