Ecological disaster along the Dutch coastline: nearly 300 containers with plastics fell off a cargo ship

Soldiers have been asked to help the locals clean the coasts in the Netherlands, while an investigation has been opened.

The situation in the Dutch North Sea is worrying. On Tuesday/Wednesday night, the MSC Zoe ship lost at least 270 containers near Borkum, a German island. Some of them have reached the German and the Dutch coast, while the rest are still adrift.

The containers are filled with plastics, polystyrene, TV screens or powder. Those items are reaching the Dutch and German coasts, which could result in an ecological disaster. This situation is even more concerning, as some containers have toxic products inside.



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Debido a una fuerte tormenta en el mar, el carguero MSC Zoe perdió el pasado martes 270 contenedores en el mar, cuyo contenido se ha esparcido por las costas de las islas Frisias del Mar del Norte. Actualmente se están acumulando todo tipo de objetos en las playas de la zona: juguetes, bolsas, sillas, muebles, televisores, zapatos e incluso productos químicos clasificados como peligrosos. Los contenedores cayeron cerca de la isla alemana de Borkum, pero las corrientes hicieron que los contenedores y su contenido se acumularan hacia el suroeste. Al menos tres de los contenedores llevan sustancias tóxicas, por lo que las autoridades holandesas y alemanas han alertado a la población para que se mantenga alejada de ellos. El MSC Zoe, considerado el carguero más grande de Europa con una capacidad de carga de 19.000 contenedores, perdió esos 270 contenedores debido a los fuertes vientos que azotaban el mar cuando se dirigía al puerto de Amberes. #msczoe #netherlands #northsea #cointainer #byebyestraws #stopsucking #moreturtleslessplastic #skipthestraw #ocean #savetheocean #plasticocean #savetheturtles #beachcleanup #plasticwaste #plasticpollution #sealife #refusesingleuse #plasticfreeoceans #protectwhatyoulove #nobluenogreen #saveourseas #oceanconservation #oceanoptimism #marineconservation #marinedebris #terschelling #noordzee

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In order to try to make the situation a bit better, more than 100 soldiers have been deployed on Schiermonnikoog Island (Netherlands) to help the locals and other people involved to clean the coasts. Those military forces ought to be quite helpful when it comes to logistics and work force.

While the immediate need is to clean the coasts and try to avoid a massive disaster, the authorities should assess who is responsible of what. This is why a formal investigation has been opened on Friday. “The maritime police investigates together with the investigation department of environment and transports under the supervision of the public prosecutor,” a press release mentioned.

The investigation should allow the prosecution to know whether the damage has been caused by any infringement of the law.


The Mediterranean Shipping Company, which operates the MSC Zoe, has announced it would take charge of the cleaning operations, together with local authorities. The company also regrets “the impact of such accidents on the natural environment”.