Fighting the rising tide of rubbish

The Audi Foundation continues its fight against pollution with a new collaboration.

It’s a seeming endless problem globally – cleaning up the constant flow of discarded packaging and plastic waste that so often finds its ways into the world’s waterways.

2 February, 2021


In Australia a similar initiative is also getting tremendous results

Regardless of where you live it’s a problem that unfortunately won’t be too far away. Discarded rubbish of all types and a seemingly endless flow of plastics creating an unsightly mess and much greater unseen problems for habitat and local wildlife.

Audi’s commitment to recycling  extends well past the reuse of materials – including plastics – and with the Audi Environmental Foundation has long worked to combat the problem in its markets around the globe. Whether that be forming alliances to target specific issues in specific areas or seeking out, recognising and supporting those already working to find solutions, every approach and initiative makes a difference both now and for the future. 

Two years ago the Audi Foundation and Audi Brussels started working with the Recycled Island Foundation and the Port of Brussels to create positive change through a number of environmental initiatives, one of which involved a specially developed collecting basin which was been deployed in the harbour to capture the rubbish that would otherwise find its way into the open ocean.

In Australia a similar initiative is also getting tremendous results. Called the Seabin, Audi recognised its inventor, Pete Ceglinski and Andrew Turton, in 2018 with the 2018 GQ Innovation award, presented by Audi. 

Literally a ‘rubbish bin for the water’ this seemingly simple, yet extraordinarily clever idea is making a tangible difference to ridding our waterways of the discarded detritus that would otherwise strangle the oceans and its inhabitants – literally in too many cases.

Recently the Audi Foundation partnered with German cosmetics manufacturer BABOR and green start-up everwave to create another assault against the pollution of rivers with plastic waste. The three partners are planning a joint initiative in Europe for 2021 with several projects spread throughout the year including information events, projects at the sites of the participating partners, and cleanup activities at various locations. 

To kick off the program, everwave’s CollectiX waste collection boat will collect waste floating in the Danube with BABOR and the Audi Environmental Foundation supporting the use of this boat.
“Water is the basis of all life and absolutely worth protecting. Clean bodies of water, seas and rivers must be our shared priority,” said Rüdiger Recknagel, Managing Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation. 

Several million tons of plastic reach our oceans each year, much of it from rivers. A study commissioned by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation warned in 2016 that plastic in the oceans may one day outweigh fish. The green startup everwave from Aachen aims to counter this global challenge and, with the Audi Environmental Foundation and BABOR, has found partners that share this vision. 

“We come from different industries and can therefore bring a range of expertise to the joint initiative. In sum, we will all benefit – especially nature,” says Recknagel. “Our primary aim, aside from collecting waste, is to make the public aware of the huge scale of the problem and to reach as many people as possible and to inspire them to protect the environment.” 

The Audi Environmental Foundation has been actively supporting new technologies for a more liveable future since 2009 – helping to protect the environment in significant ways, by providing incentives for sustainable action and promoting awareness of the impacts of human behaviour on the environment. 

Protecting the natural basis of life for humans, animals and plants is always at the forefront of its activities. 

The Audi Environmental Foundation has been actively supporting new technologies for a more liveable future since 2009