1. Managing Director
  2. Managing Director
  3. Managing Director
How much visible trash in Swiss rivers and lakes?
  • the SLR, Swiss Litter Report is one of the biggest Citizen Science Projects in Switzerland
  • it counts and classifies the amount of trash collected on 100 spots at the shores of Swiss waterbodies during one year
  • the study is carried out by STOPPP, WWF and Hammerdirt, the trash collected by 150 volunteers
  • it starts in April 2017 and ends in March 2018
  • final results will be published on June 28, 2018
By December 2017 a total of 78’281 trash items were found at 112 collection points.
The most frequent material is plastic, whereas the predominant trash items are cigarette filters.

IMPORTANT: cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate - a plastic difficult to degrade and extremely toxic.
One smoked filter makes 7.5 liters of water uninhabitable for organisms.
Data March 2018

Why is the SLR necessary?

Demonstrate, quantify, analyze and act!

Litter vs. plastic pollution

Litter is solid waste dumped or carried into the environment by wrong disposal, loss or weather events such as wind and rain. Despite being an ugly sight litter can be very harmful, especially if it doesn't biodegrade. 

Plastic is a very stable material and persists in the environment for many centuries. Unlike glass or metals, plastic is a synthetic material containing many toxic substances, which cling to it forever. Studies have proven that plastic is ingested by 
animals, thus entering our food chain.

When plastic breaks down into microplastic it gets even more difficult to collect and it disperses into the waterways, oceans or landscapes where it has harmful impacts.

The SLR focuses on plastic because of its obvious negative effects on the ecosystem. Yet, the SLR does include in its findings other categories of litter from anthropogenic materials such as glass and metals.
Litter is visible everywhere and the majority of citizens are aware of the problem. Yet we live in times where the obvious is not enough. We need to prove with numbers that a problem exists and that it is harming not only the environment but us.

The SLR report is designed to demonstrate, quantify and analyze the litter problem we have in Switzerland. The SLR data collection is based on a globally acknowledged method developed by the EEA - European Environment Agency

Trained volunteers will collect all litter from 50 defined shorelines once a month. All items found during a total of 600 collections are laid out, counted, recounted, photo-graphed, classified and published into the online database of Marine Litter Watch.

The method will allow us to compare Swiss data to other countries and help complete the findings about plastic pollution in Europe so far.

Hammerdirt Association is involved in training, monitoring and advising the collections. They have methodological experience from litter collection projects at Lake Geneva.

Results & Goals

The SLR aims to strengthen Europe’s knowledge base on litter
and thus provide support to Swiss and European policy-making

STOPPP will publish results of the data collection on a monthly bases
and raise public awareness by communicating results

By involving the public in the process, we aim to sensitize the citizens
for the existing littering problem and to convey solutions.

Supporting Partners

Ruedi Bösiger, Estelle Divorne, Jucker Farm, Armin Zöggeler, Gunnar Vogt, Ursula Hess, Alternative Bank Schweiz,