Together for clean rivers: Audi Environmental Foundation, BABOR and everwave launch cleanup initiative

Campaign with employee projects, information events and waste collection activities will start in spring


  • Initiative for a clean Danube starts with activity weeks supporting Earth Day on April 22
  • Rüdiger Recknagel, Managing Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation: “Clean water is the foundation of all life and must be our shared priority”

The Audi Environmental Foundation, German cosmetics manufacturer BABOR and green start-up everwave have joined forces to combat the worldwide pollution of rivers with plastic waste. The three partners are planning a joint initiative for 2021 with several projects spread throughout the year. These include information events, projects at the sites of the participating partners, and cleanup activities at various locations. To kick off the program, everwave’s CollectiX waste collection boat will collect waste floating in the Danube. BABOR and the Audi Environmental Foundation are supporting the use of this boat.

“Water is the basis of all life and absolutely worth protecting. Clean bodies of water, seas and rivers must be our shared priority,” said Rüdiger Recknagel, Managing Director of the Audi Environmental Foundation. Several million tons of plastic reach our oceans each year, much of it from rivers. A study commissioned by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation warned in 2016 that plastic in the oceans may one day outweigh fish. The green startup everwave from Aachen aims to counter this global challenge and, with the Audi Environmental Foundation and BABOR, has found partners that share this vision. “We come from different industries and can therefore bring a range of expertise to the joint initiative. In sum, we will all benefit – especially nature,” Recknagel said. “Our primary aim, aside from collecting waste, is to make the public aware of the huge scale of the problem and to reach as many people as possible and to inspire them to protect the environment.” The three partners are planning a joint initiative for this year. The partners want to raise awareness about clean water with information campaigns, projects at the sites, and cleanup and plogging events.

The Audi Environmental Foundation has been actively supporting new technologies for a livable future since 2009. It is helping to protect the environment in significant ways, providing incentives for sustainable action and promoting awareness of the impacts of human behavior on the environment. Protecting the natural basis of life for humans, animals and plants is always at the forefront of its activities. The first cooperative effort was initiated in 2018 with the nonprofit partner CLEAR RIVERS, which aims to reduce the amount of plastic waste entering the oceans. CLEAR RIVERS has developed innovative litter traps that collect floating marine waste in catch basins and thus preventing it from reaching the oceans.

In addition to the passive waste traps, the Audi Environmental Foundation is partnering with BABOR and everwave to expand its project portfolio by actively reducing the amount of waste in rivers, and consequently in the oceans as well, with the CollectiXBoot.


About everwave

With the help of special cleanup technologies consisting of anchored platforms and artificially intelligent waste collection boats, the team of scientists, mechanical engineers and marketing experts are working to free rivers worldwide of plastic waste and aim to make a decisive difference. In its efforts, everwave is aligning itself with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. One essential pillar – number 17 – presents global partnerships as a means of achieving the goal.


The Aachen-based family-owned company is a European leader in professional cosmetics and has sustainability firmly embedded in its corporate DNA. Its sustainable plans for the future are defined in the Green Agenda. They include reducing carbon emissions, eliminating microplastic particles and synthetic polymers that damage the environment, and cutting the use of virgin plastics by 30 percent by 2023.


Audi Environmental Foundation, 2021-01-25.


Audi Stiftung für Umwelt


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