Residents of Hamburg have removed around 1.554 kg of rubbish from rivers and canals since the Danish non-governmental organisation, Green Kayak, launched its first German branch in the city in April. Those interested in cleaning up the environment borrow a free kayak in return for removing plastic and other waste from rivers and for sharing their experience in social media networks (#greenkayak#sauberesachefürhamburg). The Ministry of the Environment is backing the project for three years initially.
Expectations “far exceeded”
Green Kayak aims to reduce the amount of waste in aquatic environments such as coastal regions, ports, rivers and canals – locally and globally. The waste collected is weighed and registered after each tour. Oke Carstensen, Development & Project Manager at Green Kayak, has expressed enthusiasm about the volunteers’ commitment: “More than one and a half tons of waste were collected in the first months in Hamburg in very mixed weather and have exceeded our expectations by far.” More than 15,000 kg of waste have been collected since the environmental initiative was set up in Denmark in 2017.
Boats available in six locations
Green Kayak also has branches in Norway, Sweden, Ireland and in Berlin. The green two-person boats are available on Hamburg’s Lake Alster, canals, the Goose Elbe and the Bille in Bergedorf. The kayaks can be booked for two hours at six Hamburg rentals or online.