A pen being dismantled at Nova Sea's Aldersundet site in Lurøy ahead of being made into granules.
A pen being dismantled at Nova Sea's Aldersundet site in Lurøy ahead of being made into granules.

AKVA aims for fully recycled salmon pen

Supplier intends to prove components made from granules are as good as those from virgin plastic


Salmon farming supplier AKVA group is testing the use of recycled plastic from used pens, with the aim of showing that the material is suitable for every part of a new collar.

Due to material quality requirements regulated by a technical standard (NS 9415 (2009)), virgin plastic is mainly used in load-bearing structures in a pen.

AKVA said its project will challenge this standard, not by changing the requirements, but by proving that recycled plastic from a used pen has the qualities to meet the requirements.

The Norwegian company has already used recycled plastic in walkways but said the project will make it possible to produce the entire pen based on recycled plastic from used pens.

Pens cut up

AKVA, which has bases throughout the world including in Scotland, Canada, and Chile, is working with recycler Oceanize and thermoplastic components manufacturer Plasto.

Last week, Norwegian fish farmer Nova Sea landed used plastic pens in Aldersundet in Lurøy so that Oceanize could cut the pens up and transport them to Rørvik.

There, the plastic pens will be granulated in Oceanize’s granulation plant, and then sent to Plasto and AKVA group in Mo i Rana for the production of parts for a new pen.

A better future

“We are pioneering a better future. Nova Sea contributes with important raw materials to the project, and the Norwegian Retailers’ Environment Fund supports the project, which aims to increase the use of recycled plastic resources,” said Dag Ove Antonsen, head of the project in AKVA group, in a post on AKVA’s website.

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

“Pens are not currently a major littering problem, but there is great potential in using plastic in new pens. Here we will achieve short, national value chains as the project participants are all established in Norway. In this respect, it is optimal to have access to used pens that we can use in the project,” said Antonsen.