Salmon company Mowi’s strategy to reduce marine litter

We know that fisheries is a major source to marine littering, but what about aquaculture? Plastic and micro plastic from aquaculture is possibly less mapped than litter from fisheries, but is still a source to marine littering.

Catarina Martins, chief sustainable officer for the aquaculture company Mowi, took the delegates at the Clean Nordic Oceans conference in Gothenburg through Mowi’s sustainable strategy and gave examples on how Mowi is working to prevent littering and how the company’s work on recycling and plastic handling.

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Chief sustainable officer Catarina Martins at Mowi

- We connect our work to the “High level plan for sustainable ocean economy” and to the relevant sustainable goals by the United Nations, says Catarina Martins.

Recycling nets and EPS boxes

Mowi has launched a six level plan in order to reduce and even remove marine littering from their operations. First level is to recycle nets and in 2018 more than 300 nets where fully recycled and transformed into swimsuits, work clothes, shoes and more. The second is to recycle EPS boxes and in Europe close to a 100 per cent of all Mowi’s EPS boxes are being recycled.

Third step is to find alternative to EPS boxes. EPS boxes are light and strong, but is easily torned into small pieces and will represent a big problem, both as small plastic pieces and as micro plastic. The fourth point of the plan is to improve packaging design in order to be able to pack the company’s products smarter. The fifth is to engage into clean ups in local communities all over the world.

Sixth and last step is to do research and development in order to measure potential micro plastic produced from fish farming, and to do micro plastic monitoring in fish fillets.

- No micro plastic has so far been found in fish fillets from our production, Martins says.