Venlo Schoon was set up as a voluntary initiative at the end of 2019. Laurie and Suzanne had already been organizing cleanups for friends and relatives for a while. When more people wanted to join, they decided to establish Venlo Schoon. Within a few years, the small-scale initiative has developed into a large group of enthusiastic volunteers dedicated to a litterfree community. 

Venlo Schoon is not limited to a certain neighbourhood. You can find us throughout the whole region: near the river Maas, in nature reserves, and in residential areas. 

A few years ago my mother infected me and my sisters with the cleanup virus! Now I go litterpicking every week, often along the river Maas – that’s where the plastic soup begins. I love spending time outdoors and doing something positive for the environment. When I’m out litterpicking, I do not only focus on litter – I also take time to appreciate the beauty of the natural environment around me.  


It's truly invigorating to go litterpicking with other enthusiastic volunteers. I enjoy the positive vibe and the feeling of togetherness during our cleanups. Before starting the Venlo Schoon initiative, I regularly organized cleanups for close friends and family. After a while, more and more people were interested in joining. And today, our group of volunteers is still growing. It’s heartwarming to see that there are so many people who want to get involved and contribute to a clean environment!


Since the start of Venlo Schoon, my cellar has turned into a storage room for cleanup supplies in all shapes and sizes. It is also home to a small vintage litter museum, full of special items that we collect during our cleanups. Especially in late spring, when the river Maas is no longer in spate, I often discover vintage litter that is over 50 years old!



In the past few years I became more and more aware of the human impact on the environment. Several documentaries and books really opened my eyes. These unprecedented environmental challenges can leave you feeling overwhelmed and disheartened, but for me, they serve as motivation to help protect our natural environment. Litterpicking and preventing litter is a great way to make a positive impact!


At first, litterpicking was out of my comfort zone and I felt some resistance. Why clean up someone else’s trash? But I soon realized: if no one feels responsible, nothing will change. We need to protect nature as it is vital to our existence. Litterpicking is a great way to tackle pollution at a local level. The results are visible immediately which is very gratifying. I enjoy being outdoors and connecting with other volunteers and residents.


As passionate as I am about litterpicking, I don’t think that this is an issue that we, as citizens, can fix by ourselves. We need local, national and European legislation to reduce litter, like the deposit system for bottles and cans. Similarly, companies need to commit to reducing plastic waste. Through Venlo Schoon, I hope to inspire others to keep their local area clean, either by joining a cleanup event or by litterpicking in their own neighbourhood.

Met het oog op Venlo - Omroep Venlo