Operatie #knetterbal

Geen plastic meer in categorie 1 vuurwerk meer door Plastic Avengers actie!

In de winter van '19/'20 begon de Plastic Soup Surfer een samenwerking met de Zwerfinator op 'Knetterballen'. Samen met het LAPP van de rechtenfaculteit Leiden bereidde hij een kort geding voor. Bedrijven deden massaal een recall en de gehele Nederlandse retail ondertekende het 'knalplastic convenant'.

Stopping 'literal throw away plastic'

Ban all plastics from fireworks.


Some plastics are used in products like fireworks. Plastic that is meant to be thrown away in the outdoors. Plastic that is left in shards after the explosion - hardly cleaned up afterwards. Category 1 fireworks is sold year round and found year round. An outragous example are 'crackling balls' (Knetterballen).

We started out in november with a campaign in which we wanted to have the judge rule out plastic use in crackling balls. To do this we needed evidence that it is found in the environment. A group of litterpickers lead by Dirk Zwerfinator Groot photograped 62.000 plastic shards and left over pieces after the use of crackling balls throughout the Netherlands and throughout the year.


The Law Faculty (LAPP) of the Leiden University was prepairing the law suit. Our goal was to sue the stores selling these crackling balls. Namely ACTION, ALDI, GAMMA, BIG BAZAR and INTRATUIN to name the market leaders in volume.

What happend though is that these and many other companies decided to recall the crackling balls from their shelves (very costly with lost sales and retrieval costs well over several 100k in some cases). These recalls were a huge succes for the campaign but... it meant that we had no case left to take to the judges.


So we took the campaign to the next level: we want to have the companies and Dutch firework importers sign our 'Blastic Deal' (Knalplastic Convenant). A deal that stops the sales of Crackling Balls right away but also phases out all plastic in fireworks in the Netherlands in the next two years.

This 'Blastic Deal' combined with the 'Blastic Resolution' (Knalplastic Motie) which mrs. Kroger presented to parliament and adopted by minister Van Veldhoven will now be taken to Brussels (as she states in this letter) and used to influence European policy.

An amendment with our Blastic Deal and Splashplastic treaty as an example will be voted on by the ENVI committee 16th of November 2020

Our 'Knalplastic Convenant' will be used as an example of the Dutch norm: ambitious yet realistic. Of course we hope to present the Knalplastic Convenant to Timmermans ourselves - since he is the personal ambassador to our 'Plastic Avengers Manifest'.


14 feb Valentines day: deadline companies and firework importers to sign our Knalpalstic Convenant.

31 jan 2020 - a total of +62.000 photographs have been made this year of left over crackling ball shards by hundreds of people. We had 58 ambassadors throughout the Netherlands.

30 Jan. 2020- HEMA and Albert Heijn, Intertoys, Hoogvliet sign the 'KnalPlastic Convenant' - no more plastic is fireworks.

 12 Dec. 2019 - HEMA recalls all cracklingballs from their stores (CEO calls personally) - Socials over 500k views, 10k likes (approx. 0,5 milion cracklingballs recalled) Albert Heijn recalls all cracklingballs from their stores (CEO telephones personally). Multiple national news publications radio, tv, writen media.

Gamma, Karwei, Action, Vomar, Intratuin, Blokker, Big Bazar follow before Christmas.

21 Nov. 2019 - The 'Knalplastic'-resolution by parliament member Suzanne Kröger is adopted.

15 Nov. 2019 - ALDI headquarter calls to announce their fireworks policy. No more separatly sold cracklingballs

12 Nov. 2019 - VLOG on Operatie Knetterbal published on YouTube (seen over 17k times). Recorded on parking lot behind Aldi Leiden. Calls out to the community to photograph 'proof' for the judge.

Het Knalplastic Covenant

Retail signs the Knalplastic Covenant

HEMA CEO Tjeerd Jegen first to sign 'Blastic Deal' for retail and importers of fireworks

Parliamentary succes! 'Knalplastic'-resolution adopted

Parliament member Suzanne Kröger (Groenlinks) resolution on plastics in category 1 fireworks is adopted - operation #knetterbal being the direct occasion. The responsible minister (van Veldhoven) will discuss the topic with the fireworks producers and report back.

The campaign explained