A new project making sunglasses and other items out of end-of-life fishing gear in Pembrokeshire, has been launched by local marine conservation charity, Sea Trust.

The five-month pilot project, Recycle Môr, is a partnership between Sea Trust and a Cornish environmentally conscious business, Waterhaul, to reduce marine plastic pollution by providing free end of life plastic fishing gear disposal on harbours across Pembrokeshire.

These recycling bins have been placed at harbours including Saundersfoot, Tenby, Porthgain and Lower Town in Fishguard. There will also be a bin at the Ocean Lab in Goodwick.

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The project has been funded from FLAG (Fisheries Local Action Group) via EMFF (European Maritime & Fisheries Fund).

The project is trialling a system to collect, sort and recycle end of life plastic gear into high quality products.

The pilot will determine whether the system can be sustainable, especially at smaller harbours. If the pilot project is successful, the project could then be expanded.

The net and rope that is collected can be sent to project partners Waterhaul to be recycled into high quality products such as sunglasses, litter pickers, litter picking bag hoops, and knives.

The National Wales: End of life fishing gear collected in the bins will go to Cornish company, Waterhaul to be made into sunglasses and other goodsEnd of life fishing gear collected in the bins will go to Cornish company, Waterhaul to be made into sunglasses and other goods

Waterhaul intends to launch new Pembrokeshire editions of its sunglasses, made form the material collected through the Recycle Môr scheme, to help fund the work, making it sustainable in the long run. This project is vital as not only is marine plastic pollution a waste of high-quality resources but each year eight to 12 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans, if this waste is given a value, then it creates an even higher incentive to be recovered from the sea and be re-used.

End of life fishing gear also poses a risk by continuing to trap and catch animals when it is left in the sea.

Lloyd Nelmes, Marine Project Officer, at Sea Trust Wales, said: “As a marine conservation charity, marine plastic is always one of our main priorities. Through previous projects we have identified a need for better waste collection in harbours, especially in smaller harbours.

“This needed an innovative and sustainable solution, there is a large expense associated with removing waste but repurposing it into new high-quality items could be the solution.”

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