In July 2022, the world’s first “bubble barrier” was introduced in Katwijk, Netherlands.
“We did a test which showed that in the pumping station, only one in 233 pieces of plastic larger than 1mm is removed from the water,” explains Bas Knapp, an executive board member at the Rijnland water board. “But with the bubble barrier, we expect between 86 percent and 90 percent of the plastic pollution to be removed. A trial was incredibly promising,”
The Great Bubble Barrier consists of a 120-meter stream of rising bubbles that push plastic waste to one side of the river for it to be collected before reaching the ocean. What’s more, Katwijk has plans to build an educational visitors center nearby the bubble barrier in an effort to educate the public on the importance of consuming less plastic and not polluting Earth’s waters.