Innovative solutions for 
plastic free European rivers

The INSPIRE project is a pioneering initiative aimed at addressing the pressing global issue of plastic pollution through a multifaceted approach.

Plastic pollution is becoming a major concern.

At this moment, an estimated amount of about 150 million tons of potentially harmful plastic is present in the ocean.

With business as usual, the amount of plastic in the ocean pollution is expected to increase each year.

Rivers and estuaries play an important role in the transport of plastics from land-to-sea, but also the ecosystems and biodiversity of rivers themselves are impacted by plastic pollution.

Pollution clean-up
INSPIRE’s main objective is to contribute to the drastic reduction of litter, macro and microplastics in European rivers in a holistic approach, by bringing together 20 technologies and actions focusing on:




Based on lessons learned from the focus areas, INSPIRE technologies and actions will be scaled up and deployed at associated sites, not covered by the consortium. A set of guidelines, proposing the best combination of INSPIRE technologies and solutions for different environments and conditions will be proposed.

Through its multifaceted approach, the project aims to...

Reduce the use of single-use plastics

Quantify, collect & reduce plastic litter

Extend the shelf life of fresh produce

Extend the shelf life of fresh produce

Produce biodegradeable materials

Produce biodegradable materials

Establish efficient zero-waste supply chains

Establish efficient zero-waste supply chains

Geographic INSPIRE implementations

European rivers are the first collectors of waste and are anticipated to be the main cause of transportation of plastics and microplastics from inland towards the sea.
Therefore, it is of crucial importance not only to clean the rivers but also to prevent plastic pollutants from entering the river to protect both terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

A set of 20 technologies and actions were identified and brought together to meet with the needs for the holistic approach in removing litter, plastics & microplastics from 6 rivers by detection, collection and prevention.

Inspire Europe locations

Šalek Valley (RS)

Scheldt river (BE)

Rhine river (NL)

Danube (RO)

Douro river (PT)

Po river (IT)

Our INSPIRE team will eagerly engage with researchers, politicians, industry and citizens to be involved and participate in the development and implementation of solutions to break the plastic wave for the sake of the environment.


INSPIRE’s consortium is composed of 26 partners with complementary expertise and a good balance ofacademia, industry, communication specialists and soft skills organizations is obtained, who all together will work towards the target of having a number of successful solutions that can find their
way to the market and put INSPIRE on the radar.