Brussels, 5 March 2018 - Employees of essenscia, the Belgian sector federation of chemistry, plastics and life sciences, and PlasticsEurope, the European association of plastics manufactures, together with more than 100 other volunteers participated in a clean-up campaign in the Galgeschoor nature reserve of the port of Antwerp. This year, the focus was on the recycling of plastic litter found on the spot, by using tools of the Plastimobile project, an initiative of essenscia, supported by PlasticsEurope and other stakeholders from the plastics industry.

In total, some 140 volunteers participated in this 7th edition of the clean-up campaign, despite the snow and cold. On average about 6 tonnes of waste are illegally discarded each year in Galgeschoor, a 100-hectare reserve, which serves as a nesting ground for migratory birds.

This year, the volunteers found some 3 tonnes of waste. The plastic portion of this total waste was handled by the Plastimobile, a traveling recycling workshop, which transforms plastics waste into new plastic materials and thus illustrates the great potential of plastics in the circular economy. The rest of the waste was handled free of charge by Indaver, a member company of essenscia, active in the sorting, recycling and/or recovery of waste.

The clean-up fits in with the overall efforts to tackle plastic waste. Last year, Antwerp was the first port in Europe to sign the action plan 'Operation Clean Sweep®'. The main challenge of this plan is to reduce the loss of plastics pellets to the absolute minimum. In Europe, Antwerp is the leading port in plastic pellet production, handling and distribution. This makes it an ideal location to launch a new collaboration between the local companies engaged in pellet loss prevention.

Press release in Dutch

Credit photo: essenscia