The Great Bubble Barrier

Pollution & Health Circular Economy

A smart solution to plastic pollution in rivers

Project Facts


Applied Financing Solutions
Crowdfunding, Public-Private Partnership, In-Kind Contributions, Private Donations, Other

Project Dates
Start: 2017
In operation since/from: 2019

The Story

The Great Bubble Barrier (TGBB) was officially founded in Amsterdam in 2017 by Anne Marieke Eveleens, Francis Zoet and Saskia Studer, but the idea sprouted in two different places. Philip Ehrhorn became TGBB’s fourth founder in 2019 after he got the idea at a water treatment plant he visited while studying in Australia in 2015 and started working on it back in Berlin. At the same time in 2015 Anne Marieke, Francis and Saskia were discussing plastic pollution in a bar in Amsterdam one evening. While looking at the bubbles in their beer they came up with the idea of a curtain of bubbles that stops waste but let’s fish and boats through.

They came together in 2017 and joined forces to work on the realization of their combined vision: plastic-free rivers and clean oceans. All four founders share a passion for sailing and surfing. Because of this passion, they have an unstoppable drive to protect and care for the ocean and its wildlife.


The Bubble Barrier is created by pumping air through a tube with holes which is placed on the bottom of the river. The rising bubbles result in an upwards current which brings the waste to the surface. At the surface, the water flow is directed sideways and the waste is being stopped from flowing downstream.

Success Factor | Hero Moment

The Hero Moment so far was when the first long-term Bubble Barrier in the world was placed in November 2019 in Amsterdam. It is working successfully and continuously preventing plastic from flowing to the ocean.

The key success factor of The Great Bubble Barrier is, that it creates a barrier stopping plastics from flowing past, but it also allows fish and ships to pass through the barrier unimpeded.

The Great Bubble Barrier, Netherlands

Contact Mail


Start-up, Waste Collection