The Antwerp Zero Pellet Loss Platform, a collaboration of plastics producers and other partners from the port of Antwerp, is working on an app that can be used to report where there are plastic granules on roads in the port area. A detailed study is also underway that will map the flow of plastic granules in the port.
The Antwerp Zero Pellet Loss Platform is a collaboration of twelve plastic producers, six logistics and ten transport companies, five sector organizations and the Antwerp Port Authority. The platform operates within the Operation Clean Sweep, an international program designed to prevent the accidental loss of plastic granules (pellets, flakes and powders) during treatment through the various links in the plastic value chain to avoid their entry into the environment . The “plastic droppings” can have a serious impact on the fauna and flora in the port area.
The participating companies set up an action plan at the end of last year. A number of initiatives were taken, such as a structured sweeping plan to clean up grains from the roads in the port twice a month. In September, the Port Authority put Jan De Nul’s Nul-O-Plastic into use, a plastic dredger that is used in the Galgeschoor nature reserve.
A mobile app will be launched in 2021 in collaboration with the Karel de Grote Hogeschool. Everyone can use this app to report where there are plastic granules on the roads in the Antwerp port area, after which the cleaning services will come to clean them up.
Researchers from the University of Antwerp are also working on a study that maps and analyzes the flow of plastic granules in detail. The results of that report are expected at the end of next year. Based on that study, partners in the Zero Pellet Loss Initiative can refine their current actions and set up new initiatives. “As one of the most important production and logistics centers for plastics in Europe, the port of Antwerp has an exemplary role in the fight against pellet loss,” says Port of Antwerp environmental expert Vincent Van Dyck. “Preventive measures are therefore extremely important. Plastics have a place in the port, but that place is not in the Scheldt or in nature. ”