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Incredible New Invention Hopes To Remove Plastic Waste From Our Waterways

Jayden Collins

| Last updated 

Incredible New Invention Hopes To Remove Plastic Waste From Our Waterways

An incredible new invention that sees plastic waste removed from our waters is rolling out across Europe and beyond. 

The innovation termed the ‘Great Bubble Barrier’ is a Dutch invention, which uses bubbles to trap plastic waste in rivers.

The technology creates a wall of bubbles by pumping air through a tube on the bottom of the waterway, which then directs plastic towards the surface. 

The barrier is laid diagonally across the river, allowing for the waste to be pushed to the side and into a catchment system as it follows the natural flow of water. 


It has been rolled out in the canals of Amsterdam since 2019, with the invention said to have caught 86 per cent of trash in the canal. 

Even more impressive is that The Bubble Barrier doesn’t disturb boats, nor does it prevent sea life from passing through. 

The Great Bubble Barrier is a start-up located north of Amsterdam, and it seems they have thought up everything when it comes to protecting the environment.


Not only do the bubbles stop trash in its path, but they also oxygenate the water to prevent toxic algae growth and absorb sound from boats to limit disturbance to fish. 

On their website, the company laid out the premise behind why they decided to look at putting together the Great Bubble Barrier.

They said: “More and more plastic is floating in our oceans and seas. It comes from rubbish that we throw away on the street, fishnets that are discarded, and from washing synthetic clothing and brushing our teeth.

“All these different types of plastic together form the plastic soup in the seas and oceans.”


The first Bubble barrier was implemented on the Dutch river of IJssel, with further research moving it towards Wevershoof, and then to Amsterdam.

The project is expanding beyond the Netherlands as well, with the first Bubble Barrier to be carried to the Porto region in Portugal.

The system is set to roll out over Europe’s Summer this year and it's hope the system will prevent plastic pollution from flowing into the Atlantic Ocean. 


With more than two-thirds of plastics in the ocean coming from rivers and canals, this barrier could go a long way in cleaning up our seas.

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/The Great Bubble Barrier

Jayden Collins
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