Line Hadsbjerg and her husband Philipp have been living in Mallorca for about 15 years. They love the ocean, surfing and stand up paddling. The sea is what gives them life and inspiration. We can feel Line’s passion for Mallorca and the ocean when she talks with us about her young non-profit initiative Cleanwave. A plastic-free world, that is the couple’s dream.
How it all started
We consume 1.5 million plastic bottles every day on the Balearic Islands, but only recycle 18% of them. Because bottle deposit systems are missing about a million bottles get lost every single day and ultimately end up in the ocean. Thus, Line and Philipp decided to change this and play their part in preserving their home, Mallorca.
The turning point was an event with about 1.000 people in Ibiza at the end of 2016 organized by their own travel and event agency LifeXperiences. They needed 25.000 plastic water bottles for the event. Shocked by this number Line and Philipp wanted to find a new system of providing drinking water. So they set up refill stations and purchased 1.000 stainless steel bottles. That’s how Cleanwave was born. A non-profit initiative and dynamic social movement that aims at reducing the use of plastic bottles by providing access to free drinking water at water stations. People can refill their reusable bottles at these stations in public and private spaces on the Balearic Islands.
The initiative officially started in July 2017, six months after the event in Ibiza, under the name Asociación Onaneta – Cleanwave. „We were fast but that’s the nature of who we are“ says Line. Pilar Gomez, a social and environmental educator from Mallorca, joined the association. She shares the passion for the island and is an indispensable pillar for Cleanwave.
Clean Water for a clean Island
The issue of plastic is huge and complex, almost overwhelming, with a strong industry behind it. Thus, Cleanwave only tackles the niche of plastic water bottles keeping in mind that the spectrum of issues that need to be addressed is very broad. „Other organisations are tackling other environmental aspects and I think that’s great. That’s why it’s so important that there are many of us“, points out Line.
One of the Balearics’ biggest problems is that both residents and visitors depend on plastic water bottles because most tap water on the islands is not drinkable. „Water symbolises life, it’s something that flows, an element we love. But we also see it being completely monopolised on this island through the bottle industry“, explains Line. It depends on the government and public services to make tap water drinkable and free for everybody.
How Cleanwave works
The idea behind Cleanwave is to help public spaces like hotels, restaurants and schools provide free, good quality drinking water for everyone by setting up water refill stations for their own spaces. The stations use tap water that is filtered through an osmosis system provided by Agua KMZERO. Refill stations can also be installed in private spaces such as offices. The Iberostar headquarters for example have completely converted to plastic-free by providing refill stations and giving bottles to their employees. As a result they greatly reduce their plastic waste. Line is happy about this positive mind shift. „We find that many of the small and big businesses want to be involved. We all feel the same, we all love this island.“
Everyone can make a difference and contribute to a plastic-free society by purchasing a Cleanwave bottle and refilling it for free at any refill station. With the help of the Cleanwave app the closest stations can be looked up easily. So far there are about 40 stations on the Balearics including at Duke Restaurant and Simply Delicious.
A plastic-free World
Cleanwave also organizes fun events such as beach cleanings in collaboration with Asociación Ondine to create awareness. „So many willing people are keen to participate, they want to make a positive difference“, says Line. They furthermore participate in other events such as local fairs, marathons and concerts. For these events they provide a 600 litre, 5 metre tall bottle that organizers can rent for plastic-free water. A great statement that has been very successful so far.
Another niche that is slowly opening up are plastic-free water solutions for yachts. Big super yachts alwas have a stack of plastic bottles on board . Thus, Cleanwave aims to provide water filters for these movable spaces.
Line has also produced a visually beautiful documentary about the Balearics’ plastic problem. She likes using visual storytelling to spread the idea of Cleanwave. For the film she has teamed up with incredible cinematographers. One of them is Pep Bonet, an award-winning Mallorquin filmmaker and photographer. They have also produced an additional shorter film with the same images that they will show in schools.
Everyone plays a Part
Line, Philipp and Pilar don’t want Cleanwave to be a „foreigner initiative“. So they work closely together with the local councils and governments. Line happily says that they are open to this social movement. They support the non-profit initiative which consequently gives it more credibility. „We want to include and collaborate with as many of the local organisations as we possibly can“.
Cleanwave is only focusing on the Balearics for now. However, Line hopes this movement is going to happen globally in collaboration with other initiatives that are already existing worldwide. „This movement needs to be spread like the sea that needs to flow and has no borders“. So their vision is to get as many people as possible on board.
„As people we are all connected to each other and to nature. We can not continue the way we are doing now and have to act more responsibly“ says Line. Everyone plays a part in this social movement in order to prevent more waste. With every choice we make in our daily lives we can reduce the use of plastic and create a new culture of how we relate to nature and specifically water, explains Line. „I think generally we are on a good wave, we just need more people to ride it.“
Please contact Cleanwave if you would like to join the movement by becoming a refill station and providing free drinking water or if you would simply like to order a reusable bottle.