We prefer not to see any litter at the port of Antwerp. Unfortunately, however, we cannot avoid pollution entirely. We are working hard on ways to collect waste and, in particular, on a method of collecting information on locations where lots of waste is found. This will enable us to focus further on raising awareness, preventative solutions, clean-up actions and innovations.


The port of Antwerp is vast region, with innumerable roads, cycle lanes, lock complexes, bridges, verges, etc. Please try to keep this clean!


  • The port tornadoes – a social employment project – clear away litter and weeds every day.
  • Port of Antwerp-Bruges is taking targeted measures to combat litter at hotspots where lots of waste builds up. There are litter campaigns for raising awareness among truckers, for example, and chemical toilets and rubbish bins are being provided.
  • During the annual Port Clean-up, citizens and various companies at the port clear up litter in the Galgeschoor nature reserve. Around 400 people took part in 2019. The awareness-raising action could not go ahead in 2020 due to corona.
  • A “Plastic Challenge” was launched to gather innovative solutions for the historic pollution from small plastic pellets in Antwerp's nature reserve of Galgeschoor. From more than 50 submissions, Envisan (Jan De Nul) with his Nul-o-Plastic emerged as the winner. The company based their design on a large, manoeuvrable vacuum cleaner. The Nul-o-Plastic did well in its first test during the World Clean-up Day 2020.
  • We are developing a cleanliness index 2.0 to map out the cleanliness of the port area. This will enable us to carry out maintenance in a more targeted fashion.
  • The port of Antwerp was the first European port to sign the “Operation Clean Sweep charter”. The charter was translated into an action plan to combat the loss of plastic pellets at business premises at the port of Antwerp. The port will publish the results of an evaluation of the various actions in the autumn of 2021.
Grafieken©Source: Antwerp Port Authority
Verified data

Floating litter

Pallets, fridges, tractor tyres, mooring ropes, derelict bicycles … nothing is crazy enough to end up in the water. The crew of waste collection boat ‘Condor’ hit the waves to fish out litter and illegal dumping in the port's water.


The amount of floating litter collected has fluctuated in recent years, depending on how frequently the Condor sets sail. Considerably less floating waste was collected in 2020. This makes sense: Condor could not set sail as frequently due to corona.

‘Patje Plastic’ fishes plastic out of the Doel Dock

Plastic-catcher ‘Patje Plastic’ is in the Doel Dock. The installation consists of a floating arm 100 metres long and 1.5 metres deep, which pushes floating waste towards a large rubbish bin so it cannot spread any further. There, a series of filters separates the larger waste from the smaller. Full belly? A crane truck will hoist up the bins and take the rubbish away. ‘Patje Plastic’ works on wind, wave and gravity power.