American Seafoods, Aker’s Aion collaborating to find recyclable uses for fishing nets

A tray made from a recycled fishing net.

Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. American Seafoods is collaborating with Fornebu, Norway-based Aion to recycle its retired midwater-trawl nets.

Founded in 2021, Aion is owned by Aker BioMarine and has attracted investment from Ocean 14 Capital. It has been working with American Seafoods, the world’s largest at-sea processor of wild Alaska pollock and Pacific hake, on a series of successful pilots to demonstrate how high-quality plastic material from the fishing industry can be rescued and turned into new and valuable products, it said in a press release.

The first project “successfully demonstrated that polypropylene and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) from retired midwater trawl nets could be recycled and remanufactured into serving trays for use in quick-service restaurants and foodservice settings,” according to the companies. American Seafoods and Aion then extended their collaboration to include additional types of operational waste and used product packaging, including sorting baskets and fishmeal bags.

The partnership demonstrates how American Seafoods and is taking accountability for the plastics it uses in its operations, American Seafoods CEO Einar Gustafsson said.

“This partnership with Aion is the perfect addition to our expanding sustainability agenda,” Gustafsson said. “Their innovative spirit and practical tools help turn our circularity ambitions into tangible progress. Building on our companies’ shared history, we are excited to work side-by-side to use less and recycle more – in all areas of our business.”

Gustafsson said his company will continue to work to establish recycling value chains to ensure plastic waste is minimized across its operations. Plastic diverted from American Seafoods will be used by Aion to grow its circular product portfolio and some will be repurposed for use on American Seafood vessels and for its shoreside operations, Aion CEO Runa Haug Khoury said.

“We are really proud to collaborate with American Seafoods, which wants to pioneer the circular transition in the marine industry in the U.S. and beyond,” Haug Khoury said. “Through this pilot, American Seafoods has helped prove in a very practical manner how plastic circularity is possible from marine waste streams. We need to establish these kinds of futureproof value chains both to close the tap on marine plastic pollution, as well as to ensure that valuable materials are repurposed into new life.”

Haug Khoury said the partnership demonstrates Aion’s capacity for aiding the larger seafood industry in taking better accountability for the plastics generated during their operations. Its Circularity as a Service partnerships can divert plastics from waste streams into valuable resource loops, while providing documented reduction in CO2 emissions, documented reduction of plastic waste to landfills, and a reduced plastic footprint in the supply chain, she said.

Photo courtesy of Aion


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