Norwegian company Nofir AS, which runs a nationwide recycling system for fishing and fish farming industry, has organized a large European campaign to target discarded equipment from the fishing and farming industry.
Nofir, based in Bodo — a seaside city just inside the Arctic Circle — says that every year hundreds of tons of nets and ropes are discarded in the sea, which then become a serious threat to both marine life and divers.
The company was created in 2008 through a joint venture between a fish net producer and a waste management company because there were few environmentally friendly ways to dispose of plastic equipment from fishing and fish farming industries.
Waste management group could not easily handle nets that could be 1,100 meters long and 300 meters deep, the company said.
Nofir's Eco-Innovation project expands from Norway to include activity in Europe includes finding companies or fisherman who want to get rid of material and arranging to transport for it to Lithuania, where it can be dismantled and, in most cases, recycled.
The campaign has received 680,000 euros ($919,000) in funding from the European Union.
The company says that it has already been contacted by many in Europe who want to discard material and Tomas Sarnacinskas, procurement manager of Nofir, said: “We encourage people to contact us, we will visit them immediately and take specific action.”
Nofir's Eco-Innovation project supports innovative ideas, services and processes which provide environmental protection. It says its goals include decreasing the amount of plastic waste in European seas by 1,900 metric tons, decreasing plastic waste to landfill by 2,450 metric tons and decreasing CO2 emission by 8,700 metric tons.