Tackling Plastic Waste in the Bodrog Floodplain


Tackling Plastic Waste in the Bodrog Floodplain

Organization: Plastic Cup Society (Hungary)

The Plastic Cup Society, with over 10 years of experience, will present a comprehensive toolkit to combat plastic pollution in rivers. This toolkit leverages citizen science, knowledge sharing, awareness raising, and stakeholder engagement. The initiative aims to create adaptable solutions to prevent and stop plastic pollution in rivers before it reaches the oceans.

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General Info

The Hungarian section of the Bodrog River includes protected areas like Nagy-Kopasz in the Tokaj-Hegyalja region and the Bodrog-Tisza floodplain, which support various habitats. The Tisza River faces severe transboundary litter pollution, primarily from improperly managed household waste, resulting in extensive plastic contamination, including microplastics and macroplastic particles. Additionally, toxic substances from abandoned mines and other sources contribute to legacy pollution, creating critical environmental issues in the region.

What measures have been taken?

Plastic Cup Initiative

  • Influence and Effectiveness
    • Major river cleanup initiative in the Danube River Basin.
    • Reduces plastic pollution in the Bodrog River.
  • Core Pillars
    • Research
      • Online river pollution map for litter monitoring.
      • GPS-based hydrological model for tracking plastic dispersal during floods.
      • Satellite imaging to track macroplastic movements and understand pollution dynamics.
    • River Cleanup Actions
      • Organizes professional and community cleanups.
      • Enhances rapid response to pollution incidents.
    • Environmental Education
      • Adapts practices to participant needs.
      • Develops "RiverSaver" educational materials.
      • Creates River Litter Lab and RiverSaver Center for community engagement.

Environmental Impact

  • Socio-Economic Impact of Rivers
    • Rivers significantly benefit various sectors:
      • Agriculture
      • Aquaculture
      • Fisheries
      • Commercial shipping
      • Recreational boating
      • Coastal communities
      • Coastal tourism
      • Emergency response services
    • Marine litter negatively impacts both environmental and industrial processes.
  • Improvements through Initiatives
    • Research, cleanup, and education efforts in affected areas have led to:
      • Reduced plastic pollution.
      • Enhanced habitat conditions.
      • Overall improvement in environmental quality.


At the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, representatives from 175 nations established an Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to develop a binding agreement aimed at ending plastic pollution globally by the end of 2024. Concurrently, the European Union is advancing multiple directives to redirect investments towards sustainability, support the European Green Deal, and strengthen legal frameworks for freshwater and marine resource management. Additionally, initiatives like the Blue Deal and policy guidance from DALIA partner THU, commissioned by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), are pivotal in addressing both micro and macro plastic pollution across transnational river systems, offering essential policy recommendations for effective management and mitigation strategies.