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Ecaussinnes, Belgium

Surfrider just launched its Ecaussinnes campaign aiming to fight pellet pollution and polluters. Our goal: make Ecaussinnes a free pellet pollution site.

Summary of the situation

In 2020, the environmental service of Ecaussinnes (a city of about 11,000 inhabitants, South of Brussels, Belgium), reported plastic pellets pollution in the Sennette river. The commune has regularly observed similar pollution since then, always linked to the mismanagement of pellets. They have been found in the river 7km away from the closest production area in Ecaussinnes, a result of poor conditioning leading to their spread around the factories. Pellets were also discovered in agricultural lands near the factory…
Private sector initiatives have failed to offer a long-term solution to this issue. Therefore, Surfrider will support local actors and the Brussels chapter in this campaign to fight pellets pollution in the area.

The defenders

Our local chapter, Surfrider Foundation Brussels launched its campaign and will support the actions of other local and national actors on this topic.

Environmental status

Local actors report regular contamination of pellets in the storm basin and other areas around the pellet production plant. Due to their extreme volatility, those pellets (microplastic balls), spread easily through waterways. They can be found kilometers away from their production area. Surfrider suspects that this contamination impacts other areas in the region.

Our requests

Local authorities estimate that pellets spills have been happening for over 15 years. We request from companies that produce, transport, and transform pellets in the industrial park of Ecaussines to apply result-driven and monitorable measures to tackle this issue.

If you wish to help the Brussels chapter with this campaign, contact them.

Learn more about pellets and their environmental impact at this link.