We work continuously to make our products more environmentally friendly. There is a lot of plastics used in aquaculture products, so for us as a manufacturer we must use plastic in a responsible manner. This means that the products do not release pollutants, cause microplastics, and can be reused or at least recycled.
Environmentally friendly products are necessary for a longsighted and effective production of salmon and trout. In our product development we primarily evaluate three environmental aspects:
Pollutants / Toxins
When choosing materials in product design we often end up having to balance between price and properties that are good for the environment. When it comes to pollutants we have chosen to go further than existing regulations with our materials.
- HDPE (high-density polyetylen) is a strong and easily recycled plastics that is often used for food and beverage packaging. It is not considered a source of pollutants. We use HDPE when the opportunity arise.
- PVC has a bad reputation, but if made correctly it can be so safe that it can be used in children’s toys. PVC contains softeners (phtalates), but the amount and the type of softeners can be altered so that PVC is as safe as other types of plastics. NorseAqua use REACH-certified PVC. This means that our PVC passes a test that proves that there are no dangerous levels of any of the over 200 substances on EU’s watch list of dangerous substances. Our PVC goes through the same test as children’s toys in PVC, and the tests are done by internationally recognised and independent third-parties. When it is considered safe for children to chew on our PVC, we think that is safe enough to use with fish.
Microplastics are mainly caused by plastics that dissolve. By choosing the right kind of plastics and ensuring they are used properly, there is normally no release of microplastics from NorseAqua products.
- Our products are made for use within fish cages, and therefore has low risk of being exposed to the open seas. This would only happen by accident or improper use.
- UV from sunlight will break down materials like PE (Polyethylene) or PP (Polypropylene). We have replaced all such materials with HDPE or PVC.
Products that Can Be Reused or Recycled
- At NorseAqua we make solid products that have long lives. We offer our cleaning fish hides in HDPVC which is an especially sturdy PVC material that lasts longer than regular PVC.
- We have analysed the possibility to establish a circular economy in our products. Our conclusion is that the carbon footprint caused by transportation back to our factories became very high. So high that it makes more sense for our customers to use a local recycling centre.
- When the products reach their end of life they can be delivered to the local recycling center. Some of these centres can resell fractions of the products to the European market.
In future product development we look forward to use more locally sourced materials and get a higher proportion of our products into circular economies.