The SeaRubbish2Cap project won the Inova+ Award in the Business Excellence category, in the area of sustainability of natural resources and ecosystems. The delivery of the Inova+ awards, which aim to distinguish business and scientific excellence in national innovation, took place on September 26, at FEUP – Faculdade de Engenharia do Porto.
The winning work SeaRubbish2Cap is being developed in partnership with Neutroplast, PIEP, JustDive, and Bitcliq. It is focused on the identification and recovery of garbage from the ocean floor without damage to the ecosystem, treating this waste to be incorporated into value-added products. With the development of this project, it is expected the collection of 5 tons of plastic waste in the Peniche area and the production of more than 2.5 tons of pellets for use in packaging.
According to Renato Reis, SeaRubbish2Cap project manager at PIEP, “the Inova+ prize awarded to SeaRubbish2Cap is recognition of the importance and relevance of the project, and will certainly act as another motivator for PIEP and other stakeholders in this waste recovery journey that is on the ocean floor and transforming the respective polymeric waste into materials that will later be used in the production of new value-added products.”
The promotion of this now distinguished project is intended to create a new market where local fisheries agents can operate and sell marine plastic waste to the industry or other interested parties. Research and development activities will focus on the processes for cleaning and recovering materials and their transformation into materials with commercial format (granules) and on the development of a smartphone application that will allow for the registration and geolocation of lost fishing gear.
Project financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, through the Blue Growth Program of the EEA Grants.