Fishing for plastic: Would you do this along the canals of Amsterdam?

When one speaks of travelling to Amsterdam, it conjures thoughts of relaxing at an alfresco restaurant overlooking the canals, visiting museums and historic art galleries, and riding a bicycle in the crisp clean outdoors.

Now there’s a new tourist activity for travellers to the Dutch capital to add to their itinerary, and it takes the concept of eco-tourism to a whole new level.

Introducing fishing for plastic.

This new activity, which is now part of a boat tour in Amsterdam, involves collecting plastic waste from canals to be recycled into useful products such as tables, chairs, lamps, as well as the boats that are used to fish.

SEE: Find Your Eco-Travel Escape

According to Marius Smit, founder of Plastic Whale - the fishing for plastic initiative, the activity has become a popular pastime and “people love it”.

Tourists get fetched by Plastic Whale skippers on boats, get fishing nets and start fishing for plastic in Amsterdam’s canals.

“Different kinds of materials can be used as raw materials for new products,” adds Smit about the plastic waste collected.


Plastic Whale has collected and recycled more than 100 000 bottles since its inception and made over 1 000 pieces of furniture, while plastic fishing with 300 companies.

ALSO SEE: #EcoTravels: Hilton calls time on plastic straws

Proceeds from the fishing project also support other local plastic waste collecting and recycling campaigns.

Check it out:


Local plastic collection initiatives

In South Africa there are companies also doing their bit to ensure a reduction of plastic pollution in our waters.

Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront has a number of initiatives in place that make it stand out as a responsible tourism venue through the implementation of a 'plastic gobbling marine drone' known as a WasteShark, which will trawl the ocean surface picking up as much as 500kgs of ocean trash at a time.

SEE: PICS: New plastic gobbling drone pilot project to see 'a plastic-free V&A Waterfront'

V&A Waterfront CEO David Green also announced that the company is set to ban plastic bags and bottles from the precinct.

ALSO SEE: #EcoTravels: Cape Town businesses join way forward for clean oceans and climate change

In another initiative, Airbnb partnered with Wesgro and some local green businesses and tourist companies to offer guests the opportunity to partake in exciting eco-conscious activities - from learning about upcycling to gaining knowledge on marine life. Click here for the details.

MUST-SEE: PICS: Airbnb's responsible tourism experiences for your Cape escape

Smit encourages people to start similar activities across the world, and with only 0.4% of SA’s oceans protected, there’s dire need for greater protection of our oceans and to keep it clean and safe for its inhabitants.

ALSO SEE: #OnlyThisMuch: New alliance for greater care of SA's oceans pushes for 10% protection by 2020

While there are growing tourist activities that encourage us to be environmentally-responsible tourists, some tourists think plastic fishing while spending big Rands overseas is a bit too much to ask for.

So, will you opt for a plastic fishing tour on your next holiday to the Netherlands or do you think the Dutch are trying to get their visitors to clean up for them?

Let us know your thoughts – email info@traveller24.com or tweet us @Traveller24_SA.