The Norwegian AKVA Group will construct the world’s first pen in recycled materials

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AKVA Group, together with Plasto and Oceanize, is going to break the barriers to using recycled plastic in fish farms with its new entire pen that will be composed of recycled materials in a development project that has just been allocated funds from the Norwegian Retailer´s Environment Fund (Handelens Miljøfond).

AKVA group has already used recycled plastic on the pen walkways, but this project will make it possible to produce the entire pen based on recycled plastic from discarded pens.

Due to requirements for material quality that are regulated by a technical standard (NS 9415 (2009)), mainly virgin plastic is used in load-bearing structures in the pens. The project will challenge the standard, not by changing the requirements, but by proving that recycled plastic from a discarded aquaculture facility has the qualities to meet the requirements.

Oceanize has extensive experience in collecting and recycling plastic from aquaculture and currently delivers a carefully tested high-quality plastic granulate.

“The project is a major circular economic milestone. Now we get the opportunity to show the qualities of our plastic granulate. At the same time, complete solutions like these are central in a sustainability perspective,” says Trude Vareide-Giskås, Project Manager in Oceanize.

Great environmental and savings potential in national value chains

Up to 12,000 tonnes of plastic waste is generated annually from the aquaculture industry and the plastic resources are reused or collected and recycled. Potential climate savings from national management of plastic waste is up to 50 million kilograms of CO2 by preventing, among other things, the incineration and export of resources.

“Pens today are not a big litter problem, but there is a great potential for using the plastic in new pens. In this project we will achieve short, national value chains as the project participants are all established in Norway,” says Trude Olafsen, Project Manager in AKVA group.

Helgeland Plast (wholly owned subsidiary of AKVA group) produces the pens in Mo i Rana, Oceanize collects pens along the entire coast and has its granulation factory in Rørvik, and Plasto produces parts for the pens in Åndalsnes.

The basis for an efficient and national value chain is in place. In addition, AKVA group will be able to spread knowledge to other fish farming nations where they sell plastic pens.

The Norwegian Retailer´s Environment Fund supports projects that aim to increase the use of recycled plastic resources, and the organization has now chosen to support the project for the establishment of circular value chains within pen production in Norway.

Pens free of polystyrene

Before make known the news, the members of AKVA group has reported about their pens free of polystyrene. “We want to make pens more sustainable and has previously developed walkways in recycled plastic. Now, the entire pen portfolio is also free of polystyrene”.

“Some time ago, we launched a new flagship pen – the 500R and 500RS series. In addition to its large capacity, this had an innovative solution with waterproof bulkheads as a replacement for the traditional solution with polystyrene in the floating pipes. Now we have taken an extra step and will produce all new pens without polystyrene. It is replaced by sectioning the floating pipes in waterproof chambers,” Arnstein Hosaas, R&D Director in AKVA group says.

The pens consist of almost 100 per cent HDPE material (high-density polyethene).

AKVA group is present in all markets with offices in Norway, Chile, Denmark, Scotland, Spain, Greece, Iceland, Canada, Australia and Turkey. “AKVA group is a unique partner with the capability to offer both Sea based and Land based aquaculture operations with complete technical solutions and service,” they assure.

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