Aquafil to collect fishing gear and nets in collaboration with Salmon de Chile and Atando Cabos to recycle nylon material for reuse

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Goals of the partnership are to protect the oceans from ghost nets and reduce the carbon footprint of the salmon industry in Chile.

Aquafil has entered into an agreement to collaborate with the Salmon de Chile, the Chilean Salmon Marketing Council and Atando Cabos, a cleantech organization focused on recycling plastics to help preserve the ecosystem of Patagonia.

The goal of the partnership is to collect and recycle old aquaculture fishing nets that currently pose a massive waste challenge for the industry.

Southern Chile supplies almost a third of all farmed salmon across the globe. In recent years the government and salmon industry in Chile have made strides to ensure socially responsible salmon farming.

The collaboration with Aquafil is another step to decrease pollution, reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, and ensure that as much material used in the processes are upcycled and not contributing to the waste stream. The partnership is based on a four-year work plan that will include the collection, recycling, measurement, and reporting processes that will make this effort successful.

“At Aquafil we are committed to a more sustainable, circular economy and this partnership is an expansion of our ability to collect, recycle, and regenerate different nylon waste into Econyl that will be used to create beautiful products such as swimwear, bags, shoes, clothing, carpets, furniture, automotive parts, and more. We will be establishing operations in Chile with an investment of €10 million and creating approximately 30 jobs,” says Giulio Bonazzi, CEO and chairman of Aquafil Group.

“This operation in Chile will be focused on working to recover and recycle all nylon 6 from fishing gear, nets and other waste across Chile and potentially the rest of South America in collaboration with industry and government leaders.”

“We are excited to collaborate with Aquafil on this important collection and recycling initiative,” said Arturo Clément, president of SalmonChile. “The experience that we have gained with Comprometidos con el Mar initiative (Commit with the Ocean), recovering thousands of kilometers of coastal edge by collecting waste, will be of great help for this agreement with Aquafil, which has great experience in recycling. We see this effort as a significant advancement for the industry and environmental conservation efforts in Chile.”

“At Atando Cabos we know that it is possible to lead a profitable business and make a positive impact, across the entire value chain. Through this agreement, we want to continue giving a new life to the waste that is polluting the environment, ensuring the traceability of the material. This alliance is taking us into the circular economy 2.0 and it fills us with great enthusiasm to carry out this initiative”, explains Julio Compagnon, co-founder of Atando Cabos.

Aquafil has successfully implemented this type of initiative in Norway in partnership with Nofir, a leading European player in the collection and processing of fishing and aquaculture nets at the end of their life cycles. Recently Aquafil entered the capital of Nofir and thanks to the experience acquired in the field, it will apply best practices from this effort to the new partnership in Chile.

The Chilean partnership, represents another step forward the strategy already launched in December 2020 with the acquisition of Planet Recycling (now Aquafil Carpet Collection), recovering post-consumer carpets and rugs between Arizona and California. It embodies an important move for Aquafil’s mission, further strengthening the supply chain in a circular perspective, avoiding the use of landfill or incineration.