Large-scale clean up
After the fine of EUR 15,000 for every violation, it was not a question of ‘if’ Ducor would clean up the two harbours, but ‘when’. The company started this difficult job in Londenhaven dock on Tuesday, 21 April 2020. The clean up was commissioned to Hebo Maritiemservice by the Port Authority of Rotterdam who worked with a team from Ducor Petrochemicals.
Hebo used a special suction unit on a pontoon to suck up the plastic granules from among the blocks of basalt on the banks of Londenhaven dock. The large litter was removed by hand by a team from Ducor.
At the end of the clean up, the Port Authority of Rotterdam reported that four full big one cubic metre bags of plastic granules had been collected. This equates to 4,000 litres of plastic granules! There were also 17 big bags full of large plastics. This is a huge amount in a relatively small area. Plastic Soup Foundation was present that day too and saw Ducor’s management and personnel who were present respond with shock at what was found.
In February 2021, the environmental agency DCMR informed Ducor that the imposed fine would be lifted, as the agency was satisfied with the company’s measures. Plastic Soup Foundation is also pleased with Ducor’s efforts and has agreed to lift the penalty. Ann Geens writes on the Ducor website: “The criticism we received at the time was justified, and we have taken our responsibility. And we will continue to do so. […] But we, as Ducor, are not the only party that has to deal with pellet loss. We have to take it up broadly as a whole chain, from manufacturer to transporter and processor. I will continue to be committed to that.”