PET Pirates in action at Lake Tisza

2022 11 04

On 6 October, DT-ITS volunteers became PET Pirates for a day, collecting approximately 1.5 tonnes of waste from the floodplain of Lake Tisza.

Be a PET Pirate! – With this call, DT-ITS were looking for volunteer colleagues who, for one day, taking a break from the work routine, would actively contribute to the protection of our environment and help to clean the floodplain of Lake Tisza from the accumulated waste – mostly PET bottles.

The PET Pirate Volunteer Day was over-subscribed, so in the end 80 colleagues arrived from Budapest, Debrecen and Pécs to Dinnyéshát, where the waste collection started. One half of the team immediately went out on the water and approached the contaminated areas by canoe, collecting waste from the floodplain. The collection was also a sorting exercise, with PET bottles, glass and metal that could still be recycled when being placed in separate bags. There was plenty of work to do, as plastic bottles cracked under the rubber boots at every step under the leaves in the more polluted areas.

Most of the waste comes from beyond our borders, where it is common practice to dump the waste in floodplains, which the river eventually transports across the border and deposits in floodplain forests and sandbanks downstream. The accumulated waste is therefore basically everything that can be found in a household, which is why the collection of waste itself requires great care and the use of protective gloves or tweezers is essential.

The other half of the team went to the Kisköre River Rescue Centre, where, under the guidance of experienced PET Cup organizers, the colleagues started sorting the waste that had accumulated there. The smaller sorting table could not accommodate the many volunteers, so a second, improvised sorting point was set up; in addition, they also helped with the removal and rearrangement of the already sorted waste.

There was a lot of accumulated waste at the River Rescue Centre on this day, as the waste collected at the Bodrog PET Cup a few weeks earlier was also stored here. The PET Cup usually sorts the collected waste with volunteers recruited on weekends, so our colleagues helped a lot in the work of the volunteers who are coming for the next two weekends: 80 pairs of hands from DT-ITS were working in rotation, while normally 10-20 volunteers come to the sorting point for a weekend.

During the afternoon, the two teams took turns in the field, and by the end of the day, our colleagues had collected no less than 240 bags of waste to help clean up the floodplain of Tisza. This represents approximately 1.5 tonnes of waste, at least 60% of which (glass, metal, plastic) can be recycled.  

This was the third centrally organised Volunteer Day in the life of DT-ITS. Last year our colleagues helped to decorate and renovate the Bátor Tábor camp in Hatvan twice. This year’s PET Pirates Volunteer Day is a joint result of the company’s CSR activities and the internal Sustainability Programme launched this year. The activity itself is part of the Sustainability Programme and was organised at the suggestion of the DT-ITS Green Activist Community, which currently numbers over 100 people.


The PET Cup, which was launched 10 years ago, was created in response to the plastic noise (also known as the PET bottle flood) on Tisza. The PET Cup initiative tries to stem the recurring waves of pollution, identifies the biggest dumping sites, and works to clean up the floodplain and the river, recycling the waste collected where possible. Furthermore, they do it in a fun and inspiring way that turns a difficult and sometimes dangerous task into a real adventure, with more and more volunteers joining in every year.

CSR and sustainability at DT-ITS

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has always played a key role in the life of DT-ITS. Every year, we strive to use the financial and human resources that our company’s size provides to support our environment. Our employees are passionate about helping people in need in many parts of the country, whether it’s education for disadvantaged children, environmental campaigns, charity collections, or renovation of schools, hospitals, or social institutions.