The Trash Traveler is an environmental movement that began with Andreas Noe’s trip to Portugal in 2018. Since then, there have been multiple separate plastic hikes and more than 1.6 tons of plastic collected. Each year the Andreas & team has come up with new projects, each with a quirky name and a strong goal to save the environment. Andreas Noe, a molecular biologist in Germany; he was on a surfing trip to Lisbon when he came across the littered beaches. The dirty beaches made him leave behind his career and begin a new life full of ukulele songs and “trash” movies.
The mission of this organisation isn’t just to get rid of all the trash that exists but to raise awareness and create a community that will work together to solve this major issue. More than 8 million metric tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year. Dangerous microplastics have been found in water, food, and even the human placenta. The Plastic Hike’s activities impact the fight against plastic pollution. Much too much garbage is produced to handle effectively, but they have successfully raised awareness.
They aim to accomplish this mission through various missions that have been launched year after year since 2020. They began with the plastic hike, where they hiked 832 km along the coast of Portugal in just 58 days. They raised awareness and contacted 100 NGOs while collecting 1.6 tons of plastic along the coast. The following year in 2021, they started the Butt HIke. This initiative reached 600 people and collected more than 1.1 million cigarette butts. They recycled these butts using mushrooms and used the material for further awareness.
This year, Andreas Noe repaired an old bicycle, renamed it Rosa and travelled more than 2370 km in 55 days. On his trip, he collected 4599 bottles and cans, which Andreas used to create art installations along the beach front. The latest initiative by the organisation has been to bring awareness to microplastics. They did this by creating a new font, dubbed the Microplastic font. Microplastics have shown up in the human placenta of foetuses and even our bloodstreams. Andreas and his father cobbled together microplastics to form letters. Raquel Lima then turned this into the microplastic font for the Adobe collection programs.
What began as a single man’s journey has now become a rather large group of people under the banner of ‘The Plastic Hike’. In 2020 Andreas realised that his dream was too big for one man and began to gather like-minded people, NGOs and environmentalists to form his dream team. The team consists of Carolina and Augusto, who work as part of the videography team, Ana Rita of the “Associacao Novo Mundo Azul”, Marisa Matos and Catarina Rodrigues, who work as project managers. Raquel Lima, who was in charge of the microplastic font and the website, Marta Ribeiro, who helped provide a flow to the execution and Gonçalo Gonçalves, the man in charge of logistics and support. Anyone can help support this initiative by heading to their support page.