Recycling marine litter for the textile industry

In the framework of the OCEANETS project, a tracking tool will be developed for drifting fishing nets, and will contribute to its recycling into textile fibers generating economic profit and environmental.

Vigo, April 20th, 2019. – The OCEANETS project, aims to prevent the loss of fishing nets and evaluate the possibility of recycling unusable gears and other plastic waste recovered from the sea for the production of high-quality textile fibers with which products of interest for the textile industry will be manufactured. The initiative aims to reduce the environmental impact of marine litter in the sea and generate a potential economic benefit.

The consortium that will execute the project is led by the Technological Institute of Plastic (AIMPLAS) and is participated by Asociación Vertidos Cero (AVC), the Fishing Vessels’ Owners’ Co-Operative of the port of Vigo (ARVI), the sustainable clothing company ECOALF, marketing and applied economy groups of the University of Vigo and the Czech company of textile manufacturing SINTEX.

OCEANETS arises from the need to prevent the loss of fishing gears in the sea that, in addition to the consequent economic damage, generates a negative environmental impact by the production of plastic waste and ghost fishing.

For this, the initiative, which began in January of this year and will end in the last months of 2020, contemplates the development of a tracking ICT tool to prevent the loss and facilitate the recovery of fishing nets. This tool can be integrated into the nautical charts and will serve to detect lost fishing gears and hitch zones due to the presence of bulky elements. ARVI, the largest Spanish and European fisheries association will also participate in the recycling tasks of the recovered nets that cannot be repaired, whose destination will be the production of high quality textile fibers.

Among the objectives of the project is the test in at least 10 ships of the ICT tracking tool, developed by the Asociación Vertidos Cero with the help of ARVI; the obtaining of 50 lineal meters of textile fiber composed of 90% recycled fishing nets, and a plan of exploitation of the final product in the textile sector.

Likewise, the OCEANETS project will evaluate the environmental and socioeconomic viability of textile manufacturing with fishing gears and recycled plastic recovered from the sea and will work on raising awareness among fishermen of the importance of reducing, recovering and recycling marine litter, and informing workers in the sector about the opportunities for valorization of their waste and the importance of managing it properly.

«By participating in the OCEANETS project, we want to provide a beneficial outlet for the environment to all waste derived from fishing activities through recycling and proper management of marine litter,» says José Antonio Suárez-Llanos, managing director of ARVI.

The project is financed by the Executive Agency for SMEs (EASME) and the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (FEMP.

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