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everwave – Freeing rivers from plastic to protect the sea

We depend on water, water is life. But every year, around 11 million tons of waste end up in our oceans and rivers. One country that is particularly affected by plastic pollution is Cambodia. Cambodia is known for its picturesque temples and beautiful nature, but unfortunately polluted rivers are also gradually becoming a sad trademark. The start-up everwave is tackling the pollution of our waters there and in many other places around the world and is therefore generously supported by motan.

Global pollution is constantly increasing. The Aachen-based start-up everwave has therefore set itself the task of counteracting this and collecting waste from rivers before it enters the sea. To do this, they use waste collection boats and barriers and are deployed in various countries around the world. The start-up receives support from motan, among others, both through regular contributions and as a one-off major donation for special projects. Thanks to the donation from the motan foundation, it was possible to finance a conveyor belt for the project in Cambodia, that makes local logistics and waste transportation significantly easier.

Up to now, everwave has collected around 1,558,901 kg from water bodies worldwide ( as of 20.06.24). The collected material is then recycled or thermally recovered and reused. However, their work is not limited to detecting and collecting waste; they also want to prevent waste from ending up in our waters in the first place. To do so, they use artificial intelligence, which not only detects waste but also analyzes it to draw conclusions about its origin.

Cambodia is one of the countries struggling with river pollution. There, everwave is also working with its local partner, the Cambodian NGO River Ocean Cleanup, to curb this problem. However, as the scale of the problem on site is too great to make a sufficient contribution by hand, everwave has developed a waste collection boat that uses state-of-the-art technology making it easier to catch and collect waste from rivers. This innovative boat was, among others, financed by motan. The collected material can then be sorted directly on site in a zero-waste center operated by both companies.

BBC now reports in a documentary about the great work that everwave and River Ocean Cleanup are doing in Cambodia. The video can be viewed here: everwave (


A small Cambodian NGO and a German startup can achieve a lot. All together it can be even more. Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility.