LIVES – Litter Free Rivers and Streams
Goal: Reduction of plastic waste in the Meuse catchment area
Duration: August 2018 to January 2022
Description and goals
The research project LIVES (Litter Free Rivers and Streams) focuses on the reduction of plastic waste in the catchment area of the Meuse. Plastic waste damages our environment and can endanger public health, biodiversity, shipping and the landscape. Additionally, plastic litter accumulates in the environment due to the material’s persistence.
A successful solution to the problem requires a coordinated, transboundary approach. This is the only way to prevent plastic from being transported through rivers into the sea. Cross-border cooperation is an essential element here, because river basins do not coincide with the administrative borders of states. The aim of LIVES is therefore the organisation of a coordinated cross-border concept for the reduction of plastic waste in the catchment area of the Meuse and the interregional networking of the institutions involved.
The project is divided into four central work packages: 1. analysis of the current waste situation in the Meuse and its tributaries, 2. measures to reduce plastic waste, such as clean-up actions and the construction of five different innovative plastic traps, 3. development of cross-border administrative agreements, 4. extensive public relations work and environmental education. Together with two other universities, the IWW is responsible for cross-border educational measures in the LIVES project. For this purpose, an online tool will be created which can be used for the autonomous education of students, teachers and other interested parties in the field of "plastics in rivers". With the help of educational videos, informative texts, self-tests and additional reading material, the target groups are to be informed about the problem and motivated to take action themselves. Furthermore, the material can be used as teaching material that brings also younger students in contact with this topic.
Partners and funding
The project team consists of a broad alliance of authorities, public organisations and interest groups that are working together to reduce plastic waste in the Meuse catchment area:
- Provincie Limburg (NL)
- Waterschap Limburg (NL)
- Rijkswaterstaat – Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat (NL)
- Vlaamse Milieumaatschappij (BE)
- Openbare Vlaamse Afvalstoffenmaatschappij (BE)
- De Vlaamse Waterweg NV (BE)
- Wasserverband Eifel-Rur (DE)
- Zuyd Hogeschool (NL)
- Open University (NL)
- Institut für Wasserbau und Wasserwirtschaft (RWTH Aachen) (DE)
The LIVES project is an Interreg Euregio Meuse-Rhine project. The EU project LIVES is funded under the number EMR103.