This project aims to develop innovative products and systems to reduce ocean plastic originating from inappropriate and accidental disposal of plastic bait bags primarily used in the shellfish (particularly whelk) industry.
One of the biggest issues currently facing our oceans is plastic pollution. Our R&D project involves a unique partnership between a marine conservation charity (Sea Trust), the largest shellfish supplier in Europe (Macduff Shellfish Scotland LTD) and an innovative research group (The BioComposites Centre) at Bangor University to reduce plastic in the oceans. Together, our project will produce innovative products and systems to reduce ocean plastic originating from inappropriate and accidental disposal of a type of plastic bait bag primarily used in the shellfish industry, particularly the whelk industry. This project will have three main approaches. Firstly, we plan to explore alternative designs of the bait bags used by many shellfish processors and shellfish fishers using a human centred design approach by interviewing fishers and processors to ensure the new bag is more usable with an improved environmental performance. Secondly, we will look at existing materials, using a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) approach to identify the most sustainable and environmentally friendly material currently available. Research will also be conducted into the recyclability and up gauging of the bait bags with aim of increasing the life and recycled plastic content of the bags. In the third phase, innovation will focus on developing a bait bag prototype made from bioplastic material strong enough for the application and that biodegrades in saltwater thereby reducing entanglement risks for marine wildlife and reducing microplastic.
Sea Trust Wales