Port Authority launches new campaign against litter

23 October 2020
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The Port of Rotterdam Authority will be starting a new campaign targeting litter this week. It wants to raise awareness among visitors to the port of the impact litter can have on shipping, nature and our surroundings. This should encourage people to discard their waste in the public bins that have been set up for this purpose.

Every year, the Port Authority collects over 1,300 tonnes of waste from sites on land – equivalent to some 43 trucks filled to capacity. Nearly a quarter of this volume is litter. In addition, the Port Authority retrieves another 100 tonnes of waste from the water.

Negative impact on shipping, nature and our surroundings

Litter causes a lot of damage. Not only to nature and the environment, but also to shipping. Garbage wraps itself around ships’ propellers and animals get tangled up in it. Birds and marine animals that live in the port – seals, for example – mistake floating refuse for food, which means it ends up in their stomachs. And since plastic waste gradually disintegrates into micro and nanoplastics, it eventually makes its way into the marine ecosystem – and from there into our food chain. The present campaign is in line with the Port Authority’s policy focused on the sustainable development of Rotterdam’s port and industrial area. Ultimately, these efforts are intended to result in a truly clean port.

Barge in the Waalhaven in Rotterdam with a grass field with litter in the foreground
Litter at Waalhaven, Port of Rotterdam

Banners at heavily frequented locations

The primary target audience of the campaign ‘Clean port, clean ocean’ are visitors to the port and businesses located in the port area. To raise awareness of this new drive, the Port Authority will be putting up banners and posters with the slogan ‘Clean port, clean ocean. Can we count you in?’ in heavily frequented areas. It will also draw attention to this issue by posting relevant facts about litter via different social media channels. The Port Authority will be expanding this campaign further in the spring – when Rotterdam traditionally welcomes a fresh influx of tourists, day trippers and pleasure craft.

Call to join in

Through this drive, the Port Authority wishes to call on other parties in the port area – be they visitors or local businesses – to join in and help clean up the port by throwing their waste into a bin during their visit to the port, and by spreading the message. Those sympathetic to this cause can download posters from the Port Authority website.