Welsh Government supports the expansion of The Net Regeneration Scheme

In response to the threat caused by the marine litter crisis Welsh Government has teamed up with the marine waste specialist firm Odyssey Innovation Ltd, creators of the Net Regeneration Scheme, in an unprecedented project for the Welsh fishing communities to offer a sustainable solution for end of life fishing gear such as whelk pots, buoys, ropes, net, floating pontoons and any other recyclable plastics.

Odyssey Innovation’s Net Regeneration Scheme is the only scheme in the UK that offers free net recycling solutions of Polyethylene trawl, Nylon and other plastic generated and recovered by the fishing industry. Everything that can be recycled in the UK is recycled locally and we use specialist recyclers in Europe to recycle any problematic materials. The Net Regeneration Scheme has additional benefits in reducing CO2 by putting recycled plastic back into the economy, which has a significant CO2 saving over using new virgin plastic. It covers the cost of transporting the gear to plastics recyclers and closes the ‘recycling loop’ by converting the plastic waste back into products such as kayaks, surfing handplates, tote boxes and recycling bins.

With funding from the Welsh Government, Odyssey Innovation plan to roll out a pilot Net Regeneration Scheme along the Welsh coastline and would like to invite members of the fishing community and harbours interested in participating to get in touch. Seafish, the public body that supports the seafood industry in the UK, has offered in-kind support on behalf of Welsh Government and the Welsh fishing industry to help facilitate the project. Having previously worked in the South West with Odyssey Innovation, the organisation is delighted to be supporting this new initiative.

Disposal options for end of life fishing gear continue to be an issue for the fishing industry in Wales and we hope this scheme will offer a solution

Mr. Rob Thompson, Managing Director at Odyssey Innovation says: “The Net Regeneration Scheme has only been made possible through collaboration, primarily between the fishing sector and conservation groups, further supported by universities and the government. This collaborative project between us, Welsh Government and fishing communities will showcase exemplary best practice in a sector where it is immensely needed; furthermore the quality of our seas and the aquatic flora and fauna within it will also benefit tremendously.’’

A Welsh Government spokesman says: ‘‘Welsh Government are pleased to be working with Odyssey Innovation to introduce the pilot scheme in Wales. Disposal options for end of life fishing gear continue to be an issue for the fishing industry in Wales and we hope this scheme will offer a solution. This scheme will be the first of its kind in Wales and will support our commitment for the Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and moving towards Good Environmental Status.’’

Dr. Holly Whiteley, Welsh Regional Manager at Seafish says: “Seafish has been supporting gear recycling initiatives around the UK, so it’s great to see this new initiative being rolled out for Welsh fishermen. Providing facilities to recycle old fishing gear will assist the sector to further improve its sustainability credentials and help it thrive.”

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