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CollectiX on a cleanup mission in Serbia

Our garbage collection boat started on its second Cleanup Mission in 2021 at the end of April. The mission on the Danube was made possible by a cooperation with BABOR and the Audi Environmental Foundation.

CollectiX Einsatz Serbien

New challenge successfully mastered

With the images of the huge garbage carpet in Bosnia and Herzegovina still in our minds, the Cleanup Mission in Serbia presented us with a completely new challenge. Unlike in Visegrad, the jammed rubbish was not concentrated in a wide area this time Surface. Rather, it was spread across various regions of the riverbank of the Danube.

Huts, restaurants or similar man-made barriers ensured that plastic waste of all kinds accumulated in smaller corners and banks and was supposedly more difficult to “reach”. To our delight, our garbage collection boat CollectiX managed this task effectively.

Within ten days, “Clean Future” – this is how the boat was christened by our partners’ community – got 3.2 tons of plastic out of the water. This corresponds to around 110,340 PET bottles (1.5L). A result that we are proud of. New starting situations are important for us because with every further mission we learn and can further develop our processes.

CollectiX Einsatz auf der Donau

Sharing a vision with strong partners

This time the CollectiX mission was commissioned by the cosmetics company BABOR and the Audi Environmental Foundation. Together we have decided to draw attention to the global pollution of water by plastic waste. Our joint commitment in Serbia is the starting signal for long-term cooperation.

Further joint campaigns will follow throughout the year. This includes information campaigns, events at company locations and stores as well as cleanups. At the same time as the CollectiX mission on the Danube, the Audi Environmental Foundation asked us to take part in a plogging challenge, i.e. to collect rubbish while walking. A reputation that the everwave team was happy to fulfill.

Such collaborations are extremely important for achieving our goals, which is why we never tire of thanking them. This also applies to Kuehne + Nagel, through which the transports of our CollectiX boat are CO²-neutral. We feel that something is growing together here and that we want to work together for the environment.

CollectiX Cleanup Mission in Serbien

Of course, it always fills us with joy when mountains of garbage disappear after our mission. Networks and interested, influential decision-makers at the local level are worth gold in order to ensure that words are not only followed by deeds but also to ensure long-term impact.

That is why we always try to generate media attention for the operations, but also for the topic in general, during our on-site missions. A highlight for us in Serbia was therefore the visit to the Ministry of Finance. In terms of real change, a lot has to be done locally, which can ultimately only be implemented in cooperation with the media and politics.

What is important to us

We recently received a lot of feedback from our community during the missions in Bosnia and Serbia, which we are very happy about. It shows us that you are on board. A question that was asked more often is why we go to other countries and start our clean-up missions there instead of here in Germany. Or why the regions in question don’t do it themselves.

We see it this way: Plastic waste is not a national problem, but a supraregional one. Rivers know no borders. Serbia is a current, good example of this. The Danube flows through a total of 10 countries. Leftovers we find were made in all sorts of countries by companies from all sorts of regions. International brands, global supply chains, and transport routes.

Added to this are factors such as transport infrastructures and waste management systems that function differently – if they exist at all. We have the technical solution, we are working on promoting environmental education, so we also see it as our duty to start operations where they are necessary. And we do that together with the people on site, because without local support from organizations, media, politics or companies, our assignments would not be possible.

Next Step

After ten days, however, it wasn’t over for us. Thanks to funding from Landmarken AG, the Cleanup Mission in Serbia was extended, which brought us from Belgrade to Lake Zvornik. There, too, we document all impressions and findings via our social media channels.

For us, this follow-up financing means that we are steady on a mission for the first time and CollectiX thus long-term waste in a region can collect. We are very happy about it because it is of course very useful for our further development and we have thus reached another small milestone.