LCA of EUFIR – a European system for collecting and recycling discarded equipment from the fishing and fish farming industry

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NEED

  NOfir is a Norwegian company specialized in collecting discarded equipment from fishing and fish farming industry, founded in 2008 with the aim of establishing a reliable and effective recycling system for discarded equipment, with particular regard to fishing nets at the end of their useful life. In 2012, within the framework of the Competitive and Innovation Program, NOfir received support from the European Union to develop the project “EUFIR – European system for collecting and recycling discarded equipment from the fishing and fish farming industry“. EUFIR aimed at establishing a robust and sustainable system for collecting and recycling discarded equipment from the European fishing and fish farming industry, by developing a network of cooperating entities which put together waste owners, transporters, dismantling sites, recyclers and other end users. In 2014, NOfir asked LCE to evaluate EUFIR project’s environmental sustainability, by assessing the potential environmental benefits coming from the collection and recycling activities of discarded fishing equipment which would otherwise be landfilled or dumped into the sea.

RESPONSE

  LCE performed a full Life Cycle Assessment of EUFIR system at international level, considering an extended system that goes from the availability and collection of discarded fishing equipment to the production of secondary materials after recycling operations. The following key indicators were chosen to explore the EUFIR environmental sustainability:

  • - Decrease of fishing and fish farming waste equipment dumped at sea and in landfills
  • - Effects of increased material recycling, with consequent o Decrease in oil consumption (raw material for virgin fishing nets) o Decrease in CO2eq emissions.

OUTCOMES

  LCA results revealed that the prevention of fishing equipment landfilling or abandonment produced significant environmental benefits. It is estimated that after three years, the project led to:

  • - 18 000 tons of materials recycled
  • - Decrease in oil consumption 28 800 tons
  • - Decrease in CO2 emission 28 888 tons
  • - Decrease in plastic waste dumped in the sea 6 300 tons
  • - Decrease in plastic waste to landfill 8 100 tons

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE

  • - Coordination with Nofir Headquarters in Norway
  • - LCA data collection with all the project’s partner in Norway, Hungary, and Lithuania