Over 80% of marine litter in Europe is made up of plastics of different types and 27% consists of plastic waste from fishing gear (nets, lines, pots, traps, etc.)
This is mainly due to a lack of collection and recycling facilities for fishing gears and nets. This, together with the high financial costs involved in the disposal of nets and in their transport to the recycling facility, represent a strong challenge to be faced by the fishing industry.
In this framework, the European Project EcoeFISHent aims to provide a local solution for collecting, storing and recycling aquaculture and fishing nets, through the installation of a storing/collecting facility in the port of Genoa together with a cleaning equipment, to obtain cleaned waste materials ready to be recycled.
These collected waste will be valorised as second raw materials by the partners of the Consortium of the project.
Storage and collection of nets is handled by the partners AMIU and OMNIA, which collect and remove all entangled and stuck bodies in the nets whose composition is constituted by non-processable materials (biological and/or non bio-) from a plastic recycling point of view.
Clean nets are transferred to other partners: PROPLAST and AIMPLAS, (Italian and Spanish plastic research centers, respectively), which are in charge of milling the recovered polymeric material into a rough powder, and then of processing it by extrusion process to obtain PA6, PA66 and PE pellets.
These recovered plastic materials will be further used for melt-mixing and injection moulding processes, for the production of automotive parts for vehicle components (material derived from PA6 and PA66 nets) and for the production of packaging for cosmetic products (material derived from PE nets).