AIMPLAS developing a method for converting marine plastic waste into aquaculture products

ÑCostas project
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ÑCostas is an AIMPLAS project that will make it possible to reuse plastic material recovered from the sea and waste from the aquaculture industry to make walkways and platforms for fish farms, port protection products, flotation tubes, and nets and mesh for reinforcement, among other products.

Specifically, this research project, which started in 2021 and will last for four years, studies the treatment and recycling of recovered plastic material for use in walkways and access platforms in fish farms to replace the wood currently used; port protection products, structural and floating tubes for platforms and buoys for signaling and anchoring; and reusing plastic waste products such as fishing gear, nets and meshes to create more lightweight reinforcement for concrete platforms and other products. 

The project is based on the best method for recovery, selection and processing of marine plastic waste and aquaculture industry waste, considering its lack of uniformity and the different levels of degradation at different times in the sea. AIMPLAS contributes its experience in recycling, the circular economy and different technologies for transforming plastic.

The Plastics Technology Centre AIMPLAS and the Spanish Institute of Oceanography (IEO) are the technical coordinators of this project sponsored by a consortium of companies made up of Acteco, Duraplastics, Ecoplas Barbanza, Plastire, Rotogal and Solteco.

Main results

The ÑCostas Project aims to convert plastic material recovered from the marine environment into new recyclable and sustainable materials for use in products for aquaculture. These products will be processed using conventional transformation technologies and will maintain and even improve the properties and useful life of current products.

Most of the plastic products found in the seas and coasts of Spain are polyolefins (e.g. HDPE and LDPE), the most common material for making bottles and bags. When combined with smaller amounts of other polymers, polyolefins are used to create all kinds of containers, such as styrene. These materials have a high chemical resistance, which makes them ideal for recycling products for use in the marine environment