Life MUssel Sustainable production (re)cyCLES



The main objective of LIFE MUSCLES project is to contribute to the reduction of the impact linked to the use of Polypropylene (PP) socks for mussel farming, promoting and creating an more sustainable mussel production value chain that minimize the dispersion of PP socks in the marine environment, encouraging the recovery and recycling of polymers for the production of new socks and/or other items.  Specific objectives (Sp Obj.): 1) Starting the transition to a circular economic model within the mussel production sector in the targeted areas through the recovery and recycling of polypropylene (PP) socks used for mussels farming; 2) Increasing the sustainability of the mussel farming sector in the targeted areas by promoting both the replacement of PP socks with ones made of biodegradable and compostable biopolymer (BP) and validating the feasibility of mechanical and organic recycling of biopolymeric (BP) socks. 3) Providing the italian mussel farmers with a mobile Recycling Plant (300 kg/day) able to operate directly at mussel farms facilities; 4) Characterization of the recycled PP and BP material in order to ensure its applicability within the "mussel farming" supply chain and other production chains/sectors; 5) Promote the development of new business among the companies in the mussels farming sector; 6) Awareness raising of key different target groups and stakeholders such as farmers, distributors and consumers, on the sustainability of mussel production sector; 7) Definition and transfer of good practices to reduce the dispersion/abandonment of PP socks at sea. According to an informal survey conducted by Rom Plastica, through interviews with mussel farmers in the Chioggia area, an average of 25-30% of mussels and therefore of PP socks, are lost at sea every year in the northern Adriatic for natural causes (sea storms). Not considering voluntary abandonment at sea of PP socks that certainly occurs but no data are available, we can estimate an annual dispersion at sea between 7.88 and 9.45 tons of PP socks in the 2 project areas.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Alessio Bonaldo

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Scienze Mediche Veterinarie

Legambiente Nazionale APS Onlus(Italy)

Other Participants:
Novamont Spa (Italy)
"Sapienza" Universita' Di Roma (Italy)
ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna (Italy)
Università  degli Studi di SIENA (Italy)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 1.690.835,00
Project Duration in months: 48
Start Date: 01/10/2021
End Date: 30/09/2025

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