Environmental organizations are taking legal action against the Flemish government over ‘Europe’s largest plastic project’ | Abroad

Fifteen environmental organizations have filed a lawsuit against the Flemish government in their legal battle against the ethane cracker of the Antwerp chemical company Ineos. The provinces of Zeeland and North Brabant are also against the squatter in the Antwerp port area and have initiated an appeal procedure.

With the ethane cracker, Ineos wants to convert ethane into ethylene, a basic raw material for the production of plastic. Through the lawsuit, the environmental organizations want to challenge the permit for the company’s ethane cracker again. They call the cracker ‘Europe’s largest plastic project’. The project costs three billion.

Client Earth, an international nonprofit that specializes in environmental lawsuits, works with environmental organizations. According to Client Earth, the approval of the project by the Flemish government took place without first assessing the effects of Ineos’ plan. “That is contrary to both European and national legislation.” Among the litigating environmental organizations are Greenpeace Belgium, Recycling Netwerk Benelux, WWF Belgium and Klimaatzaak.

The Dutch provinces of Zeeland and North Brabant are starting another appeal procedure, they announced on Wednesday. The provinces are concerned about the amount of nitrogen that the new installation will end up in vulnerable nature reserves such as De Brabantse Wal.

After Ineos was later granted a permit after an initial failed attempt, the chemical company ‘once again failed to share details about the actual effects’, according to Client Earth. Because the plastic market is said to be almost saturated and relies on fossil fuels, environmental organizations remain strongly opposed to the cracker.

In principle, the construction of the squatter continues as normal. By the time the Flemish Council for Permit Disputes issues a new ruling, part of the factory may already be ready.