Plastic waste and other harmful waste materials reach the oceans from our rivers. Cities also flood because our riverways are clogged and the smooth flow of water gets impeded.

This is why cleaning up our oceans and preventing flooding in cities has a common solution. Which is to clean up our rivers.

Finding new ways to address our environmental challenges is reliant on our ability to foster innovation to find ways of driving systemic change. To support such innovation and progress towards circularity, Huhtamaki, a global provider of sustainable packaging solutions for consumers, donated €600,000 to fund the development and piloting of a river waste collector, invented by the Finnish cleantech start-up RiverRecycle.

The collector is an integral part of RiverRecycle’s solution to solve marine waste, one of the biggest global challenges of today. With Huhtamaki’s CSR support, a prototype waste collector was built and tested in Finland. This was then transported to and assembled in Mumbai, where it is now operational and where it will be collecting waste from the Mithi River for the next 12 months.

The Mithi River project is run by a global partnership between UNTIL (now known as UN Global Pulse), VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, RiverRecycle and Earth5R, an India-based citizen-led environmental movement.