Plastics and litter

We prefer not to see any litter in the port. Plastics have a place at the port, but that place is not in the water or in nature. Port of Antwerp-Bruges therefore works hard on prevention and regularly organises clean-up actions of plastics and waste.


Port of Antwerp-Bruges is the leading hub in Europe for both the production, handling and distribution of plastic pellets. Plastic pellets are the basic product for disposable plastics, but also for many sustainable plastic applications. Examples include wind turbine components, insulation material or lighter parts in the construction of cars that are designed to reduce fuel consumption. 


Millions of plastic pellets find their way through the port to other hubs in Europe every year. Unfortunately, at every step in the logistical process there is a risk that small quantities escape.


Preventing these tiny plastic granules from ending up in the water or other areas where they don't belong is a top priority.


As such, we work together with all players in our port - including the entire plastics industry - on preventive solutions, clean-up actions and innovations to make the environment free of plastics, and keep it that way.

Port Cleanup

Every year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, with the support of Natuurpunt and Mooimakers, organises a clean-up action in the Galgeschoor nature reserve in Antwerp. During this action, hundreds of volunteers - port employees, local residents and members of nature associations - roll up their sleeves. The goal is to make people aware of the way they handle waste, and to promote the protection of fauna and flora. We can also count on more than 1,000 employees of the companies themselves every year to roll up their sleeves for the Port Cleanup, as they organise clean-ups in and around their business parks.

Every year, Port of Antwerp-Bruges, with the support of Natuurpunt and Mooimakers, organises a clean-up action in the Galgeschoor nature reserve in Antwerp.

Tackling floating waste and litter

We put in place a wide range of initiatives for cleaner docks and inland waterways. 


Together with the entire plastics industry, logistics players and the transport sector, we have signed up to 'Operation Clean Sweep', an international charter supported by Plastics Europe. The main objective is to prevent pellets ending up in the environment. In this context we set up the 'Zero Pellet Loss'-platform that brings together more than 15 port companies from the entire chain (transport, industry and logistics) to work together to prevent plastic pellets (small pellets) from ending up in the water or nature.


Under the wings of the platform, companies exchange best practices on preventive tools and devise concrete actions to prevent pellet loss. We monitor losses at regular intervals and take targeted actions based on these insights. 

We want to ensure that the port area remains clean. Together with companies in the port, we take measures to reduce and remove pollution of water and soil.

Tackling floating waste and litter

The crew of the waste collection boat ‘Condor’ hit the waves to fish out waste from the water. At the Doel Dock, Patje Plastic’ fishes out floating waste and plastics so that they don't disperse along the waterways. The circular design from the Dutch company Allseas is made from 75% recycled plastic. The plastic catcher is completely passive and only uses wind, water and gravity to keep the dock water clean. Last but not least, the port tornadoes - a social employment project - clean up litter every day throughout the Antwerp port area.

Clean Scheldt against the plastic soup

Port of Antwerp-Bruges, together with 28 other Flemish and Dutch partners around the Scheldt, signed the cooperation agreement 'Schone Schelde' (Clean Scheldt) to fight against the plastic soup in the Scheldt. This is a concrete initiative that aims to reduce the amount of litter in the Scheldt across borders.

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