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Boskalis jaarverslagen 2012

Boskalis Beach Clean-up tour to combat plastic in the ocean

In recent decades, vast quantities of plastic have ended up in our oceans. It is estimated that 80-90% of the waste comes from the land and 10-20% from ships. Ocean currents cause the plastic to accumulate in ‘gyres’, where a ‘soup’ of plastic particles is formed. In addition to the gyre or ‘plastic garbage patch’ in the Indian Ocean there are four garbage patches in the Pacific and three in the Atlantic, together covering an area estimated to be more than double the size of the United States.

Representatives of Boskalis and waste processing company Van Gansewinkel Groep fished samples of the plastic waste out of the waters of the Indian Ocean, between Australia and Mauritius, and analysed them in 2010. The findings were reported and discussed with parties including Plastics Europe, the sector association of European plastics manufacturers. Boskalis and Van Gansewinkel also conveyed their knowledge and experience in a workshop on waste in the oceans organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature. Preventing more non-degradable waste ending up in our seas and oceans through education programs can make a significant contribution to the solution. (See also our CSR Report 2010, 'Less plastic in the oceans')

Awareness and commitment

In 2013 Boskalis became the main sponsor of the Beach Clean-up Tour organized by the NGO North Sea Foundation. The initiative aims to get Dutch people more involved and to raise their awareness of plastic waste in the ocean. It makes sense for Boskalis to support a Dutch initiative so closely associated with our area of operations; we have traditionally been involved in maintaining this coastline. In August, 350 km of beach was cleaned up and a detailed record made of the pollution in certain areas. Extrapolating this information to the whole coastal zone resulted in a clear picture of the pollution challenge facing the Netherlands on its coastline. The North Sea Foundation presented the results of the clean-up to a member of the Dutch Parliament and a member of the European Parliament. Raising awareness of the pollution issue among politicians makes it more likely that international regulations will be developed or that measures will be taken to combat ocean pollution.

After a highly successful first edition, Boskalis decided to commit itself to this sympathetic initiative for the longer term.

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