Plastic is part of our everyday life. Therefore it is an essential part of our waste. In the last decades the amount of plastic waste has been continuously growing. The plastic ends up in our environment, our lakes, streams and rivers. Time for action! Together we can stop the growing amount of plastic and can prevent that nature is the victim of our own behavior!
Together we’re strong!
The surplus of plastic waste in our environment is a social problem. All countries more or less deal with the same issue. It doesn’t stop at the border, especially not in case of rivers and streams. This calls for cross border collaboration. For the Meuse river basin The Netherlands, Belgium and Germany have joint forces in the LIVES project. LIVES (Litter free rivers and streams) aims on a 50% reduction of plastic waste in the river Meuse and the streams debouching in it. The project is co-financed by Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine and will run over a three-year period (2020, 2021 and 2022)
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Working together in the whole River Basin (Catchment) has a huge added value and is a prime example of the goals of the Water Framework Directive to take responsibility for the solutions in your own management area/region/country without shifting the responsibility in time (to next generations) nor space (downstream). The resulting actions and campaigns can be applied by the various water managements agencies and interest groups within their working areas outside the Meuse catchment. Lessons learned and experience gained can be distributed further and contribute to a pan-European approach.
Interreg is part of the European Union’s Cohesion Policy and is funded by the European Regional Development Fund for spatial and regional development. Parties from various countries cooperate on Interreg projects. There are three different Interreg programmes, focusing on cooperation in border regions (Interreg A), cooperation between regions invarious countries (Interreg North West Europe and Interreg North Sea Region), and interregional and Europe-wide cooperation (Interreg EMR and Interreg Europe)
Partners of Lives
Associated Partners of Lives
For the cross-border collaboration within the LIVES project we aim to encourage knowledge sharing on plastic litter in rivers as well as on the causes and actions to prevent plastic litter in the environment. Therefore, the academic institutions who are part of the LIVES project – Open Universiteit, ZUYD Hogeschool and RWTH Aachen University – have compiled educational material to inform students, professionals and other people interested in plastics in the environment and to motivate them to take action. The latter includes potential policy actions as well as prevention and clean-up actions (on the river banks and in the river) and coordinated monitoring of plastics in rivers.
You can study the educational material at any time and in any order since it consists of five stand-alone topics. For each topic an education module is designed including educational videos, reading material, self-tests and additional materials (i.e. scientific papers, websites and project homepages). The Meuse River is used as the main example for most topics and the material is mostly in english.
The five modules deal with the following topics:
- Module 1: Sources and entry paths of plastics into the environment
- Module 2: Transport pathways and sinks of plastics in the environment
- Module 3: Litter traps and clean-up actions to reduce plastic pollution
- Module 4: Policy responses: cross-border similarities and difficulties in dealing with plastic in the environment
- Module 5: Monitoring methods for plastics in rivers
If that sounds interesting to you, just dive in and expand your knowledge on plastics in the environment!