A participatory tool designed to encourage spontaneous litter collection
What is the Net'Léman App?
Thanks to the new Net’Léman application, the Association for the Safeguarding of Lake Geneva (ASL) is now able to involve civil society in collecting data on litter in order to understand where it comes from, and to find ways of stemming this scourge.
The new Net’Léman application is intended both for spontaneous collection, during a walk for example, and for a large-scale collection organized by a group of volunteers. It is easy to use and designed to encourage participation by young and old alike. The functions allow you to enter basic data in a few clicks, and to provide additional details if you wish to supply the database with more complete information such as weather, type of soil, type of waste, etc.
Working in collaboration with the HEIG-Vaud, the ASL plans to establish precise statistics to quantify and analyse the flow of waste in the area surrounding the lake. This valuable data will contribute to scientific studies and permit the ASL to refine the targets of our educational and information campaigns, with the aim of reducing the discharge of waste into our environment.
10,000 kg of plastic litter a year ends up in Lake Geneva
In 2011, a study by FOEN, the Federal Office for the Environment estimated the total costs of litter for the whole of Switzerland at around CHF 200 million per year. In the Lake Geneva area, population growth, greater professional mobility, the increased popularity of outdoor activities and other changes in consumption have led inexorably to more litter.
At the end of December 2018, the ASL published a study of the flow of plastic into Lake Geneva. This revealed that nearly 50,000 kg of plastic waste ends up in the lake every year, including 10,000 kg from littering.
At the end of December 2018 the ASL published a study of the flow of plastic into Lake Geneva. This revealed that nearly 50’000 kg of plastic waste ends up in the lake every year, including 10,000 kg from littering.
As well as it’s role in promoting citizen science, Net’Léman APP is also informational
The Net’Léman App provides the following information for each type of waste:
- Recycling points closest to your location
- Ways to reduce waste
- Key figures and general information
The Net’Léman app makes it easy for everyone to take part in the collective effort of picking up, collecting, sorting, and recycling litter, and to share the results of their ‘harvest’ with everyone else using the app. This means that all participants can see where other cleanups have taken place, and the result of each effort. The app can also provide users with information on how to sort litter, and help them to locate the closest recycling centres. In addition, the app has information and advice on the different types of waste and how to reduce them, plus suggestions for ‘upcycling’ items.
In order to reduce our ecological footprint as much as possible, while at the same time providing better security for users, ASL has opted for PWA (Progressive Web App) technology. The Net’Léman App is hosted and distributed from Switzerland, and the application can be downloaded directly from netLéman.app internet browser instead of going through a “store”. All the data is hosted on Swiss servers owned by a company which is socially and environmentally responsible. Users can save the PWA in their favourites: an icon will appear on the home screen, in the same way as for native applications.
To set up this project in a way which would be socially and environmentally responsible, and involve the participation of as many citizens as possible, the ASL turned to the SIG Impact platform, a new crowdfunding platform which exists to help projects with social or environmental aims to raise money. The campaign was a resounding success, as it raised CHF 57,923.
Since 2005, Net’Léman, the great lake cleanup organized by the AS has collected more than 100,000 kilos of waste, both on land and below the waters of the lake. This has been achieved through the participation of volunteers of all ages and from all walks of life.
Today, the need for action is more urgent than ever. Growing awareness of the scale of waste contamination of natural resources has encouraged many people to become involved in the battle to protect the lake, individually or in groups. In response to this welcome increase in involvement, the ASL has created a mobile application and a cleaning kit, to encourage people to take practical measures and to allow everyone to collect data on the origin of the waste.