Net cutting collection & recycling pilot programme

£10,381 awarded

The issue of marine plastic waste is well-known, especially as it impacts on significant areas of the Scottish coastline.  Much of this litter is generated by the fishing & aquaculture industries, with almost 30% of that consisting of fishing net & rope cuttings of 5-50cm in length (generated when fishermen/women mend nets or creels by cutting out damaged sections & replacing them).  A combination of lack of awareness, habit & carelessness means that many of these cuttings are discarded in ways which cause them to become marine litter.  Their relatively short length means that they unravel & break up easily, generating micro & nano-plastic pollution hazards.  This project will work with 5 harbours (both manned & unmanned) & their respective fishermen/women to pilot ways to collect these net cuttings quayside & then recycle them.  Part of the recycled plastic will be used to produce plaques which can be displayed by participating harbours & vessels to boost awareness of the programme as well as build loyalty to it.  Learnings from the project will then be shared Scotland-wide, potentially removing a very significant source of plastic pollution at source.  This grant is for the costs of the pilot project.