In April 2021, the Wasserverband Eifel Rur (WVER) placed the first “plastic litter trap” as a partner in the European project LIVES (Litter Free Rivers and Streams). The litter trap, a floating trunk, is placed in the “Mühlenteich” near Düren at the estuary of the Rur. The litter trap intercepts the floating waste before it can enter the Rur. The litter trap is placed in the water diagonally, therefore it leads the waste to the shore. Along the shore, the waste can be collected, documented and evaluated by origin and quantity.
“For the testing of this type of ‘plastic litter trap’ we find ideal conditions in the Mühlenteich near Düren: the inner-city location prevents the amount of waste plus the water drainage is controlled by us and the water level is therefore constant”, explains Kerstin Kamp, who is responsible for the project and the location choice for the prototype.
In addition to raising public awareness about the problem of plastic waste in our waters, the LIVES project is also about trying out several different types of plastic catch systems. “Our floating trunk is a first, stable, natural and simple solution. Initially, this construction remains in the water only for the duration of the project. Colleagues are also currently working on another variant of a catch structure: they want to provide rain overflow basins with a grid construction in a timely manner, which intercepts the waste from the drained water”, reports Kamp.
The 31-year-old Kerstin Kamp has been working for WVER since 2018 and is now mainly responsible for the coordination and implementation of the LIVES project: “Environmental protection is important to me and I am happy to be in a way that I can combine this with my work.” By the way, the colleague and other dedicated LIVES partners can be seen in action on the YouTube channel for the project: Litter free rivers and streams – YouTube
Photo: the floating trunk to prevent litter from passing