World Cleanup Day 2020

10 times the volume of an olympic swimming pool of plastic waste ends up in the world ocean every hour. E v e r y h o u r. Today at the beach, we collected about 2 kilos of plastic toys, bottles, bags and facial masks in under two hours (although on a day when more people like us were busy picking up the trash, it was probably much cleaner than on an average summer Saturday). It was sad to see how much of that trash was freshly dropped today, so it was nothing that accumulated there for weeks but actually how much new trash is left by humans on an hourly basis.

We’ve also observed how quickly the tidal waves rise, almost getting wet while having lunch on the wave breaker. This was a nice illustration for our earlier research about the combined gravitational effects of the Moon, the Sun and the Earth on the tidal patterns. On the picture below you can see how high the sea level gets by the residue on the columns:

And of course we went for a swim, probably the last swim of the season. Simon loves playing in the waves, trying to predict when the wave equation breaks down!

On the way to the cleanup, we observed how huge ocean liners from Panama and Malta were tugged into the Belgian harbor of Zeebrugge by little tugboats.

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