Implementing blockchain traceability to add value to end of life fishing nets
Commercial fishing vessels use their polyethylene nets for 1-3 years on average. At the end of their life these nets are left on piers around Ireland before eventually being sent to landfill. The Single Use Plastic Directive will require the disposal of these nets to be recorded and reported on.
Verifact, partnered with Novelplast, a Co. Meath based recycler, to track end of life fishing nets through the recycling process back into commercial use.
The project involved end of life fishing nets being collected in Greencastle, Co. Donegal and transported to Novelplast to be sorted, shredded and pelletised.
The pellets produced have multiple uses including in automotive and clothing manufacturing. This ensures that these nets which previously were destined for landfill are repurposed and reused in new products.
Verifact implemented a blockchain based traceability system which allowed the tracking and tracing of the nets from the fishing vessels right through the recycling process to the final product produced from the pellets.
The final product carries a QR Code consumers can scan to learn the verified story of the product. This story of the product is crucial as it creates added value to the end product.
During the pilot phase of the project 10 tonnes of fishing nets were diverted from landfill and used to produce polymer pellets which were then there used to in the production of baseball caps. Some of the pellets were also used in the manufacture of automotive parts.
Consumers were able to view the story of the product journey using a QR Code.
The data collected during the project supports compliance reporting (which will be shortly mandatory) relating to the disposal of the fishing nets.
The project raises awareness of the Circular Economy and empowers consumers to make a responsible and educated decision regarding their purchases.
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Tuesday 7th June 2022