Last weekend, from March 22nd to March 25th, the launching events of the Ocean Initiatives took place. You were many to get together all over Europe and pick up waste in your area: thank you! This 24th edition has now officially started: Surfrider's flagship program will be active throughout the year to carry on raising awareness and working towards sustainable change. More than ever, do not let waste take over your life!

Two days of European mobilization

In Europe, more than 80 waste collections have been organized during the weekend, as well as two abroad: in Morocco and in Senegal. More than 35 collections have been organized in France, 20 in Belgium, 8 in Portugal, 4 in Italy and in Spain etc. In a word, many European citizens have answered the call during this unmissable weekend, and turned it into a real success!

The majority of the organized collections took place on beaches and on riversides. Initiating these gatherings were Surfrider Foundation Europe, other associations, athletes, and above all you, the eco-citizens. Because the Ocean initiatives aim to reach as many as possible, it is essential to bring together all types of crowds.

In total, seven collection reports have been filled up and sent to Surfrider. This process allows the identification of the types of waste that are most present, to combine data and to complete a sampling.

A beautiful dynamic during the Belgian Ocean Initiatives!

In Belgium, the Eneco association takes part in the Surfrider Ocean Initiatives program via their Eneco Beach Clean Up movement. Along the entire coastline, near 4 000 volunteers converged on the Belgian beaches to pick up waste. Particularly, more than 1 600 people gathered on Bankemarch beach, where Karmenu Vella, the European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, marked the occasion with his presence. He underlined the importance of raising public awareness of the issue of aquatic waste and protecting our oceans. In total, the volunteers contributed to the collection of 5.5 tons of waste.

Large waste collection around the Bassin de la Villette in Paris

In Paris and on the initiative of the Surfrider Paris branch, about a hundred volunteers gathered around the Bassin de la Villette on Sunday to pick up, sort and analyse all sorts of waste. In about an hour and a half, the conclusion is clear: just like in previous years, the most picked up waste item remains the cigarette butt. During this 24th edition, 23 000 cigarette butts have been collected. The list goes on with beer capsules, food packaging, plastic glasses and bottles, straws, lighters… More unusual, our Parisian volunteers also found a microwave, a motorbike helmet and gas bottles. While collecting trash, volunteers were able to greet people passing by, tell them about these polluting products and explain them the good habits all of us have to adopt as soon as possible.


Surfrider Foundation Europe would like to thank all participants to this Ocean Initiative launching weekend. This flagship program aims at resolving aquatic waste issues through education, raising awareness, participative science and lobbying.

Do not let waste invade your life: Ocean Initiatives go on throughout the year! Each and every one can get involved at various levels, by taking part in a collection or by organising your own: Surfrider commits in supporting you.

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