Green Kayak starts latest clean-up of waters across Hamburg

Danish-based kayaks collecting tons of litter - mixing commitment to environment with fun tour
25 May 2023
Zwei Personen unterwegs mit einem grünen Kajak

Eight green kayaks are now available free of charge from five wharfs in Hamburg provided the crew removes rubbish from Lake Alster, canals, Gose-Elbe and Bille. Around 7,600 kayakers have fished almost 21 tonnes of litter from local waters since the Danish environmental initiative, Green Kayak, arrived in Hamburg funded by the Ministry of the Environment.

Combining leisure with commitment to environment

"Green Kayak is the perfect means of combining leisure, nature and civic engagement. Rubbish does not belong in the water. Protecting nature is important and that also means being considerate of animals and plants when paddling. The  Alster and canals are important habitats for them," said Jens Kerstan, Senator for the Environment. Canoeists should keeping a minimum distance of five metres from nesting sites, biotopes and near-natural river banks. The collected rubbish is weighed and registered after the tour.

Bookings now possible

The green kayaks can be booked in advance on the new app and online for a two-hour trip. No prior experience is needed. Two life jackets, a bucket, two rubbish tongs, a map and a flyer with tips on areas to avoid to protect birds or sensitive plants are all on board. Paddlers can register their catch under the hashtag #greenkayak and share photos of their trip on the app. After Copenhagen and Aarhus, Hamburg was the first European city to go litter hunting. Meanwhile, the cities of Berlin, Dublin, Stockholm, Bergen and three other Danish and Swedish cities each have followed suit.