25 September, 2021 Saskia van Drimmelen , holds two bags of plastic waste which she collected during her morning swim in the IJ river, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Visible behind her is the river IJ with Amsterdam-Noord on the opposite bank. Each year, the city of Amsterdam removes more than 42,000 kg’s of plastic from its waterways. Much of what they miss ends up in the IJ. The photographer took posed portraits of IJ-Nymph members, moments after they emerged from the water with trash they collected during their swim. The IJ-Nymphs are an all-female outdoor swimming group, most of whom live in the same building, which is situated right on the river’s edge. Between spring and autumn, when river traffic is at its highest, members have to deal with high levels of plastic waste floating on or just under the water.
Photo copyright: © Julia Gunther.