140 volunteers clean up 3 tonnes of litter from Galgeschoor

Wednesday 21 03 2018

140 volunteers braved the snow and bitter cold to clean up the Galgeschoor nature conservation area. This was the seventh such clean-up operation organised by Antwerp Port Authority and the nature conservation society Natuurpunt. Between them the volunteers gathered three tonnes of litter.

Recycling

The Galgeschoor is a tidal saltmarsh on the banks of the Scheldt estuary. Due to tidal action the salt content of the water in the marsh tends to vary, creating a unique habitat with various kinds of specially adapted plants. It also attracts large numbers of migratory birds and waders. However, the tidal action also deposits large amounts of floating litter here, and so an annual clean-up is organised by Antwerp Port Authority and Natuurpunt. The litter that they collect is processed by the recycling company Indaver, which either sorts it for re-use or incinerates it to recover energy, both of which are sustainable processing methods.

Plastics

This year the focus of the clean-up was on plastic waste. Last year Antwerp was the first port in Europe to sign up for "Operation Sweep®," an initiative of Plastics Europe which aims to keep the loss of plastic pellets to a minimum  so that they don't end up in the sea or estuaries. The initiative was also supported by essenscia, the federation of the chemical industry.

View photos of the clean-up operation