If a new recycling effort in Europe pans out, will it be a reason to change the name of Strauss' waltz from the Blue Danube to the Green Danube?
The Waste Free Oceans foundation of Germany consumer goods company Henkel AG have launched a three-year project to use plastics collected from the Danube River in Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania in Lovables laundry brand packaging.
WFO, which collects and recycles floating ocean plastic, said the collaboration was the largest it has signed on to so far. The partners said in a March 22 news release that it expects to collect 100 metric tons of plastics each year to recycle into the packaging.
Waste Free Oceans was founded in 2011 with the mission of partnering with businesses and other organizations to remove plastic from the world's oceans and rivers, and transform it into new items.
The WFO partnership with Henkel will begin by collecting plastic waste from the Danube river in spring 2018.
Activities will target locations ranging from Bulgaria through to Hungary and Romania.
The locations, said WFO, were selected based on a detailed analysis of the way the currents and geography of the river cause plastic to accumulate at certain points.
Volunteers and fishermen will collect the waste from river banks, beaches and the water.
The collections along the Danube will be followed by activities at several locations in the Mediterranean Sea during the summer.
Once recycled, the plastic will be included in bottles for the Lovables laundry brand, which was launched earlier this year.
Lovables bottles are made from 100 percent recycled material, and the brand aims to include recycled marine plastic litter from WFO in over a million bottles.