Morrisons to tackle fishing gear waste in a bid to save UK coastal wildlife

Morrisons said it was the first and only supermarket to support a program to fight "ghost fishing gear" in British waters
Morrisons said it was the first and only supermarket to support a program to tackle ‘ghost fishing gear’ in UK waters

For the past four years, Morrisons has worked with Odyssey Innovation, a company that collects and recycles marine plastic litter, to execute the net regeneration program that has enabled fishermen in the Southwest to responsibly recycle 100 tonnes of litter. of fishing gear to date.

Morrisons, based in Bradford, said it was the first and only supermarket to support a program to tackle “ghost fishing gear” in UK waters.

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Working with Odyssey Innovation – and working with Exeter City Council, University of Plymouth and Seafish – Morrisons helped install dumpsters at 10 ports in the southwest to help fishermen recycle unwanted gear or unusable.

“Ghost fishing gear” includes any abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear that often goes unnoticed.

It is one of the most deadly litter for marine life, accounting for 10% of global marine litter. The United Nations expects the amount of plastic in the oceans to triple over the next 20 years.

Odyssey Innovation’s Net Regeneration Program is the only one in the UK to offer free recycling of all types of fishing nets.

It includes trawls made of polyethylene, nylon and other plastics generated by the fishing industry. Everything that can be recycled in the UK is recycled, with specialist companies in Europe recycling problematic materials.

The program covers the cost of transporting the material and the full recycling loop, with some plastic waste being turned into sea kayaks. The program also helps reduce CO2 emissions by re-injecting recycled plastic into the economy, which in turn helps to reduce CO2 emissions. achieve significant CO2 savings compared to the use of new virgin plastics.

Joe Prosho, Head of Aquaculture at Morrisons, said: ‘Morrisons is one of the UK’s largest suppliers of UK fresh fish with our own fishing business in the South West and we are determined to play our full part in cleaning the oceans to preserve marine life. and protect the planet.

“We want to continue our partnership with Odyssey Innovation by supporting the Net Regeneration Program to help reduce old fishing gear that is a problem for so many wildlife. “

Rob Thompson, Director of Odyssey Innovation, added: “The net regeneration program was only made possible through collaboration and through it we are working closely with fishing communities, conservation groups, universities and government agencies.

“Working with Morrisons on this project has been a critical part of creating a collaborative program that benefits everyone involved. Getting the support of a major UK fish supplier to help us and others solve a growing problem in our seas has the added benefit of giving consumers confidence that the seafood products ‘they consume come in the most sustainable way.

“Discarded and unwanted fishing gear left in the sea can cause real damage to our marine life and the Net Regeneration Program is helping the fishing industry become the best possible stewards of the sea.”

Morrisons has pledged to reduce its own-brand primary plastic packaging by 50% by 2025.

Initiatives launched over the past 12 months will eliminate 9,000 tonnes of unnecessary or problematic plastic every year. Over 83% of Morrisons own-brand plastic packaging is now recyclable.

In 2019 Morrisons was voted the UK’s most eco-friendly company for its work on reducing plastics at the Responsible Business Awards, hosted by HRH the Prince of Wales’ Business in the Community Network.

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