The European scientific cooperation with its applied research projects is an important segment of our work. EU projects are major drivers for designing and testing innovative solutions to cope with the removal and recycling of marine litter and plastics in the aquatic ecosystems.



SeaClear 2.0

SEACLEAR 2.0 - Logo

SeaClear2.0 (Scalable Full-cycle Marine Litter Remediation in the Mediterranean: Robotic and Participatory Solutions) is an autonomous robotic system coupled with civic activation to address marine litter.

After the success of the first autonomous robotic system designed under SeaClear 1.0 to search for, identify, and collect seafloor litter, Venice Lagoon Plastic Free is proud to be the only NGO and the single Italian partner of this new challenging European enterprise carried out by a consortium of European researchers committed to develop a team of robots to collect litter from the surface and deeper regions of the Mediterranean.

Within the framework of the project, VLPF will develop the gamified public-engagement app and portal. VLPF, considering their involvement in the co-development, testing and validation of MAELSTROM and In-No-Plastic apps for marine litter clean-up and social mobilisation, was considered as best suited to upscale the digital solutions in Venice and beyond. The SeaClear 2.0 Portal and App will be developed mostly based upon experience from the In-No-Plastic and ‘Ghost Boats’ projects. The portal will provide a front end for project operators and public users for the data collected by the app. VLPF will validate the portal and app in the pilot site of Venice and its lagoon by working with local users (NGOS, CSOs, rowing clubs, tourism and recreational sector) to organise and roll out several rounds of dedicated events.


Start: 01/01/2023

Duration: 48 months

EU Mission: Restore our Ocean and Waters


The overall objective of the REMEDIES (Co-creating strong uptake of REMEDIES for the future of our oceans through deploying plastic litter valorisation and prevention pathways) project is to attract public interest for deploying remedies for our seas. The efforts to monitor and collect plastic litter, as well as to prevent the generation of litter in the first place, should become mainstream, and an everyday part of our lives. REMEDIES will thus aim to create a trend of plastic prevention by exploitation of traditional and modern channels and with the help of citizen’s science fostering co-creation of participatory processes, building a more plastic-conscious society. To reach this goal, we need to identify appropriate wording and target the “pain relievers” of each relevant stakeholder. These REMEDIES will be achieved through the following specific objectives:


–         To monitor macro- and microplastic waste in 8 Mediterranean areas.

–         To collect and valorise >422 tons of plastic litter.

–         To prevent the further deposition of an equivalent of >61 tons of plastic.

–         To reach >250,000 people and activate >2,000 citizens.

–         To scale and replicate zero-waste innovations in ~50 more sites.


VLPF plays the role  of single lighthouse case study applied to the Shoreline marine litter survey app development and testing in cooperation with INFORDATA and in compliance with the new international protocols to monitor marine litter. The Lighthouse has high visibility and a vision for the entire project and relies on our previous capitalization of H2020 projects and specific institutional networks for impact maximisation: EMODNET and WWF Plastic Smart Cities.

Venice will pave the way for other demo sites in the Mediterranean, in cooperation with our partners in Slovenia, Albania and Morocco.

The project consortium is composed of 23 partners.


Start date: 15/12/2022

Duration: 48 Months

Topic: HORIZON-MISS-2021-OCEAN-03-01 – Mediterranean Sea basin lighthouse – actions to prevent, minimise and remediate litter and plastic pollution




In-No-Plastic (Innovative approaches towards prevention, removal and reuse of marine plastic litter) is a three year EU funded project within Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation framework, with the goal to develop and demonstrate the effectiveness of tackling nano, micro, and macro-plastic clean-up technologies in the aquatic ecosystems.

The approach taken is a combination of social and technical clean-up strategies targeting the industrial hot spots through cooling water systems (CWS) in harbours, lagoons, shores and the shallow sea water with other innovative social and technological solutions. It also investigates different recycling methods, aiming to connect plastic removal with circular economy processes and, therefore, close the loop in the circular plastic economy.

In-No-Plastic gathers 17 partners from 10 countries and four pilot sites. Venice Lagoon Plastic Free, the Consortium’s single Italian partner, will organise international scientific events and conduct marine litter clean–up with new devices and specific apps at the service of the world heritage site of Venice and its Lagoon.

Start: 01/10/2020

Duration: 48 months

Topic: CE-FNR-09-2020 – Pilot action for the removal of marine plastics and litter


MAELSTROM (Smart technology for marine litter sustainable removal and management) is a Horizon 2020 twin project of In-No-Plastic. Main goals of the project are:

  • Assessing the effectiveness and impact of marine litter removal on coastal marine ecosystems
  • Removing marine litter from the seabed and both the lower and upper water columns
  • Feeding into the plastic circular economy and sustainability
  • Clustering of blue technologies for joint plastic strategy-oriented efforts
  • Engaging society for marine litter prevention, removal and circular economy

14 partners from 8 countries constitute project’s Consortium.

Start: 01/01/2021

Duration: 48 months

Topic: CE-FNR-09-2020 – Pilot action for the removal of marine plastics and litter


Ghost Boats Project

Ghost Boats logo

Ghost Boats’ are unregistered fibreglass boats abandoned along the shorelines, waterways, and canals of Venice Lagoon. Thousands of boats are estimated to have sunk into the water, often left for years in hard-to-reach and unvisited locations – although these places are no less well-loved and respected.

The presence of these Ghost Boats contributes to the diffusion of macro- and micro-contaminants deriving from their paints, resins, and metals. The boats also obstruct canals, and can become dangerous obstacles to navigate around, depending on the tide; alongside this, their presence undermines the natural beauty of Venice Lagoon, which has been recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site for its immense cultural and environmental value.

VLPF has launched a permanent programme to remove and correctly dispose of every Ghost Boat in Venice Lagoon, ensuring they are appropriately thrown away or recycled, with their metal and plastic components properly treated. Help us achieve this ambitious goal in identifying and removing Venice’s Ghost Boats!