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The Great Bubble Barrier: An effective solution to plastic pollution

Project description

Preventing plastic litter from reaching oceans

Millions of tonnes of harmful plastic waste are released into oceans worldwide, posing a serious risk to organisms of all sizes as well as for ships. Plastic waste causes immense damage to aquatic wildlife and the environment. It represents one of the major global ecological problems that needs to be resolved. The EU-funded Great Bubble Barrier project aims to improve and spread the use of the ‘bubble barrier’, an innovative cost-effective and sustainable barrier made by a bubble screen that can collect plastic waste before it spreads to oceans. The barrier does not prohibit or impede ship movement.


The amount of pollution caused by harmful plastic litter is an enormous problem with global implications: every second 0.25 tons of plastic enter our oceans. This compares to 1,440 trucks per day or 8 million tons per year! Aquatic wildlife gets entangled or ingests plastic, ships suffer damages and micro plastics pose a health risk for the smallest to largest of organisms. The majority of plastic waste in waterways is hidden, as it disappears under the surface. The Bubble Barrier collects plastics close to the source before entering the oceans: in canals, rivers and channels.
The Great Bubble Barrier B.V. (TGBB) invented and developed an innovative solution to the plastic waste problem called “the Bubble Barrier”; a sustainable and cost-effective barrier constructed by a bubble screen that collects plastic waste in waterways before it reaches the ocean. The Bubble Barrier is an ideal solution to combat plastic pollution as it provides a collection method for plastics in rivers and canals without hindering ship traffic and fish movement.
The Bubble Barrier is a game-changing innovation that will accelerate the clean-up of rivers and canals. To showcase the added value of the Bubble Barrier to the European market outside the Netherlands a demonstration project needs to be executed. The market of focus consists of both national, regional and local government parties as well as commercial parties, which are combined in consortia. The project’s funding requirement is ca. €1.43 million.
TGBB is a social enterprise with a strong network, including the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (Rijkswaterstaat), Dutch water management boards, local governments and municipalities. Similar networks in the EU have shown interest in the demonstration of the Bubble Barrier for their specific use-cases. TGBB will commercialise the Bubble Barrier technology resulting in additional job creation of 32 FTE and a revenue of €5,3 million in 2023.

Call for proposal


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Sub call



Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00
1018 JA Amsterdam

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

West-Nederland Noord-Holland Groot-Amsterdam
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00