The award-winning transnational European Circular Ocean project has launched a global innovation competition in a bid to engage creative and technical communities in coming up with inspiring ideas and solutions on the reuse and recycling of end-of-life fishing nets in the Northern Periphery and Arctic (NPA) region.
Irish partners and Cork County Council initiative Macroom E hope the competition will act as a catalyst to motivate and empower communities across Ireland to consider sustainable business opportunities utilising plastics from waste fishing gear.
It’s estimated that up to eight million tonnes of plastic enters the sea annually, causing serious damage to our ocean environment and marine ecosystems.
Experts believe that lost and discarded fishing-related gear is the most treacherous form of marine plastic, persisting in the marine environment for hundreds of years, continuing to catch fish and causing entanglement of marine wildlife.
This is particularly pertinent to Ireland, as an island nation. Many communities are already subject to the consequences of ocean plastic pollution damaging their environment as well as local fishing industries, tourism and related business.
Circular Ocean would like to hear from individuals and/or multi-disciplinary teams of entrepreneurs, inventors, designers and students who would like to tackle marine plastics with ideas, solutions and product concepts.
The closing date for entries is 1 June. Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of experts from the NPA regions and specialist networks, including Irish representatives Keiron Phillips, Project Manager at the Environmental Protection Agency, and Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Enterprise at the Local Enterprise Office in South Cork.
Details are on www.circularocean.eu.