Mission 4: Trash beachcombing in Katwijk

The name of this blog suggests that Mission 4 is identical to Mission 1. There were indeed several similarities::

  • Location: Katwijk
  • Day: De dag: the day of the lord
  • Weather: fresh and sunny
  • Nature of the mission: trash beachcombing

But there were also important differences. First of all, it was more than a month later. As a result, we were able to conduct a comparative research. We walked about the same area and saw significantly less waste than last time!

This can have various causes:

  • A battalion of trash beachcombers had been ahead of us that morning
  • Or there has been (relatively) little waste fallen from human hands in the intervening period. And what is the cause of that? Maybe because on a clean beach there is less dumping ….

This time our party of beachcombers was different. We were accompanied by our super-enthusiastic ex-neighbor with her three equally enthusiastic children aged 6 and 8 and 8. They had been looking forward to collecting the waste all morning and they did not hide that! With a fanaticism that could put Olympic athletes toshame, the beach was combed from bottom to top and from left to right. Their enthusiasm almost ended into an argument about a piece of plastic at some point: “NO, THIS WAS MY WASTE, I WANT TO PUT IT IN THE BAG!”

A tiny little incident in an otherwise perfect afternoon: the images speak almost for themselves, and otherwise there is always the caption.


3 superheroes, 2 of them incognito


Summary of a splendid afternoon!


At first is said afal! (in Dutch something like trazh!) but fortunately this spelling error was remediated on time (now it says something like trasj).

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Missie 4: Grondstofjutten in Katwijk

De naam van dit blog doet vermoeden dat Missie 4 identiek is aan Missie 1. En er waren dan ook diverse overeenkomsten:

  • De locatie: Katwijk
  • De dag: de dag des heren
  • Het weer: fris en zonnig
  • De aard van de missie: grondstofjutten

Maar er waren ook belangrijke verschillen. Het was op de eerste plaats meer dan een maand later. Daardoor waren we in de gelegenheid om een vergelijkend warenonderzoek te doen. We hebben ongeveer hetzelfde gebied gelopen en zagen beduidend minder afval dan de vorige keer!

Dat kan verschillende oorzaken hebben:

  • Een bataljon grondstofjutters was ons die ochtend net voor geweest.
  • Of er is in de tussenliggende periode (relatief) weinig afval uit mensenhanden gevallen. En wat daar dan weer de oorzaak van is? Misschien omdat op een schoon strand er minder wordt gedumpt …

Het gezelschap was deze keer ook anders. We werden vergezeld door onze superenthousiaste ex-buurvrouw met haar drie minstens zo enthousiaste kinderen van 6 en 8 en 8. Ze hadden zich al de hele ochtend verheugd op het afval rapen en dat was te merken! Met een fanatisme waar de Olympische sporters nog een puntje aan kunnen zuigen, werd het strand van onder tot boven en van links naar rechts uitgekamd. Hun enthousiasme ontaardde op enig moment zelfs in een ruzie om een plastic papiertje: “NEE, DIT WAS MIJN AFVAL, ÍK MAG HET IN DE TAS DOEN!”

Een miezerig incidentje in een voor de rest perfecte middag: de beelden spreken vrijwel voor zichzelf, en anders is er nog altijd het onderschrift.


3 superhelden, waarvan 2 incognito.


Samenvatting topmiddag!


Eerst stond er aval maar gelukkig werd deze spelfout op tijd gecorrigeerd.

Mission 1: Trash beachcombing in Katwijk

My New Year’s resolution more or less coincided with my birthday, and was set in motion by Hella: a ‘greener’, more sustainable life.

In addition to a beautiful photo book with heartwarming and funny pictures of waste-separating friends and family, I also received a well-filled application list for all sorts of activities. As a friend of son W. strikingly said, some people are required to do this as a community service, for others it’s a birthday present. Can be, but I was incredibly happy with all applications and the prospect of doing a useful and enjoyable activity together!

Sunday 7 January was the first activity kick-off: we went to the Katwijk beach to trash beachcomb (grondstofjutten) there. It was a beautiful day with a clear blue sky and a nice refreshing ice-cold wind.

At the beach pavilion with the appropriate name ‘Het Strand (= The Beach)’ we all got a beautiful burlap bag. The crystal-clear instruction was to leave the shells and the sand, but to collect any found money and return it to the owner of the pavilion.

Still a bit squirrelly with the empty bags.

When asked whether there was much enthusiasm for the trash beachcombing, the friendly girl replied that it was mainly done by children. That pinned us good,  middle aged and all …

We went to the beach in a good mood, where at first glance it did not really seem there was a lot to pick up. But when we looked closer, there actually was a lot to pick up. Within half an hour our bags were filled to the rafters with waste. The vast majority was plastic: fishnet remains, caps, plastic bottles, plastic straws etc. This time Agneta won the award for the most unusual find: a plastic woman’s torso. Unfortunately there is no picture of this, but see below our harvest: four stuffed bags and four very satisfied people.

Katwijk 7 januari 3
Accomplished beachcombers!

Afterwards we received free coffee and hot chocolate from Het Strand on behalf of the beach.

To summarize: it was shocking to notice how fast we got the bags filled. On the one hand, there was the feeling this was just a dribbling drop on a gigantic glowing plate, but at the same time it was also nice to do something. And hopefully we have inspired other people who suddenly saw four people, in their 50’s, cleaning the beach even without community service jackets!

The next event will take place on Saturday 13 January. We will clean up our neighbourhood, the Maredijk (the event is called: Maak de Maredijk Mooi!). For this, even more people have already signed up, exceeding all expectations. I’m already looking forward to it!

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