Antwerp Port Signs First Plastics Greening Pact
Antwerp, the main polymer hub in Europe, has launched a collaboration in handling, logistics and transport sectors to help keep plastic out of the water.
Small pellets are a common way of distributing the raw polymer materials of which plastic products are composed.
Every year, millions of pellets sweep through Antwerp Port on their way to other ports in Europe.
Antwerp Port has become the first port in Europe to sign a charter agreeing to prevent these small plastic pellets from getting into the water, or anywhere else where they are not wanted.
It is launching the Operation Clean Sweep project within an international programme supported by plastics producer trade association PlasticsEurope.
As part of Operation Clean Sweep, Antwerp Port's Zero Pellet Loss initiative is being organised by the port authority, a federation of chemical, plastics and life sciences industries called Essenscia, enterprise and logistics network Voka Chamber of Commerce Antwerp-Waasland Industry Platform-Alfaport, and PlasticsEurope.
They will adopt an approach, extending beyond prior clean-up operations, that covers the whole port and the whole sector.
Weekly monitoring will be done to discover the places where plastics can be found in the environment, so that the pollution can be traced to its source and action taken to prevent it.
An incident manager will keep watch on pollution and take action to clear it up whenever necessary. The costs of all this will be shared among the various participants.
More sustainable production and processing of polymers is set to be achieved through the consultative platform was recently set up at which the participants exchange best practices for making the plastics sector more sustainable.
The participants in this platform are all members of the Zero Pellet Loss project.
Operation Clean Sweep charter was signed on the same day as the Antwerp port community presents its fourth Sustainability Report, which covers how port businesses have contributed towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations.
Alderman of Antwerp Port Marc Van Peel said: “The fact that all players in the polymer logistics chain are prepared to take part in this programme is key to its success: collaboration gives the best guarantee of
“Sustainable enterprise is now deep in the genes of our port companies.
“They work hard in all sectors to reconcile people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnership.
"The signing of this charter today is the best proof of the great importance attached to this subject in the world of plastics.”