Belgium's New Tech CleansUp Plastic Pollution
Innovative Environmental Cleanup Technology
Cleaning 7.5 Million Tons of Plastic From Nature Preserve
In Belgium, a team of engineers have built a giant, smart vacuum to remove millions of pieces of plastic - too small to be removed by hand - from a Belgium nature preserve and bird sanctuary. The Galgeschon Preserve is located in Antwerp. It is home to endangered bird species. Over the years the salt marches and mud flats in the preserve were inundated with plastic particles from towns and industries along the river Scheldt.
Port Authority officials launched a competition to design technology solutions to de-contaminate the site. The winner is a huge vacuum called the "Nul-o-Plastic" developed by Envisan, which is the environmental division of the maritime infrastructure company Jan De Nul Group.
Very Smart Vacuum
The Nul-o-Plastic is a very smart vacuum customized to the preserve's conditions. The suction mechanism avoids harming plants and the rubber tires limit damage to the soil. The device is tasked with scooping up 7.5 million tons of plastic in the preserve. If the device is successful, plenty more cleanup work is available. Less than 1/3rd of Europe's plastic waste is recycled.