Envisan wins the Antwerp Port Plastic Challenge and a prize of 10,000 euro for its Nul-o-Plastic

This morning, the Port of Antwerp announced the winner of its Galgeschoor Plastic Challenge contest. Envisan was chosen as all-out winner out of 55 entries, prevailing over the two other nominees, i.e. DEME and Arcadis. For this award, Envisan was rewarded with a prize of 10,000 euro. 

Every year, the Port of Antwerp organises a major clean-up operation in nature reserve Galgeschoor. This year, over 400 volunteers took part. Together, they collected no less than 8 tonnes of waste. Such clean-up actions are useful but unfortunately millions of small plastic particles are left behind as they cannot be picked up by hand. These plastic particles have a considerable impact on the local vegetation and ecosystem.

To solve this problem, the Port of Antwerp launched its Galgeschoor Plastic Challenge. The mission was: think of an innovative, eco-friendly and economically viable solution to clean up millions of plastic particles without disrupting nature. Envisan accepted the challenge and submitted its Nul-o-plastic proposal on 30 September 2019. 

Pellet hoover Nul-o-Plastic

To stop the historical pollution by millions of plastic pellets in the nature reserve Galgeschoor, Envisan designed a hoover, the Nul-o-Plastic. The Nul-o-Plastic is a flexible and compact vacuum cleaner on rubber caterpillar tracks to ensure minimum impact on the soil. Its long hose is easy to operate and hoovers up the plastic particles in its container.  Once the container is full, it is emptied in a central depot. 

A major advantage of the Nul-o-Plastic is its mobility. Thanks to the caterpillar tracks, the hoover can easily ride on the sloping Galgeschoor embankment. It can also be easily deployed on other sites, which makes it an interesting investment.

An Smet, Director of Envisan: “We are very proud of this award and wish to thank the Port of Antwerp for this valuable recognition. The Galgeschoor Plastic Challenge rewards us for our motivation and commitment to work out innovative and sustainable solutions that are tailored to every individual project. Innovation is indeed one of our main driving forces and a very important pillar of our strategy to find circular solutions for a better planet.”

Challenge for young engineers

For this contest, Jan De Nul Group challenged in September its young engineers. In all, 40 employees competed against one another in an internal contest to propose refreshing ideas to tackle the plastics issue in nature reserve Galgeschoor.

“At Envisan and Jan De Nul, we like to think out of the box and look beyond what is already existing or known. An inspiring challenge, a white sheet of paper and our committed people are all we need to find the right answer. And you don't need to come up with a very expensive and complex solution either”, adds An Smet.