A small Ottersøya-based company has taken up the fight against a major environmental problem: plastic waste from the aquaculture and agriculture industries. By further processing the waste, it can be used in the production of new products.
Oceanize, consisting of the two subsidiaries Containerservice Ottersøy (COAS) and Norwegian Plastic Recycling (NOPREC), has become a national spearhead within the field of plastic waste recycling.
Since 2011, COAS has been using a mobile grinder to source marine waste from Stathelle in the south to Eastern Finnmark in the north. The company has collected around 17,000 tonnes of discarded equipment from the aquaculture industry. COAS sorts and processes the waste before it is sent to NOPREC where it is turned into plastic granules. The granules are then sold and used to make new products.
A win-win situation for everyone
Each kilogram of newly produced plastic that ends up being incinerated emits five kilograms of CO2. NOPREC currently manages to recycle 3500 tonnes of plastic each year. This means that society saves 17,500 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year — equivalent to the average emissions produced by approximately 10,000 cars!
“Oceanize is tackling a major environmental problem and creating a circular economy that is a win-win situation for everyone. It contributes to value creation and a significant reduction of the plastic problem - it is unique”, says Roger Hatling, finance adviser at Innovation Norway Trøndelag.
Good guidance from Innovation Norway
The company has had a customer relationship with Innovation Norway for many years and received assistance in different areas. This includes development funding through the National Environmental Technology Scheme, investment support through regional district grants and so-called mentoring support, where the company is linked up to an external mentoring resource.
“We have received excellent help from Innovation Norway. After a long customer relationship, they know us well and provide us with good guidance that we are very happy with” says Helene Øyangen Lindberg, the company’s sustainability advisor.
Oceanize first started operations as early as 1979, where they collected and processed industrial waste. Today, the company has around 30 employees and is one of the country’s largest collectors of plastic. 100 percent of the plastic they collect from trade and industry is recycled — either as materials recovery or energy recovery.
Nothing suggests that the small Trøndelag-based company has plans to slow their development any time soon. They are in the process of establishing a new production line that will enable them to recycle more types of plastic, and to improve their own expertise and further develop methods and processes.
They will also establish a laboratory in which to analyse all the plastic that goes through the recycling process, so that they can meet the plastic industry’s strict requirements regarding documentation of the quality and properties of plastic granules.
“We are the expertise environment that one should turn to. Our aim is to become an industrial plastics recycling plant for the entire country”, says Lindberg.
According to Hatling, the company is a pioneer in its field, and he believes it is quite special that the small district enterprise has managed to take on such a national role.
“The people behind Oceanize have developed the company and invested a lot. They have developed their own technology and taken risks regarding investments that are not necessarily profitable in the short term, but require ambition and patience. This is how they have built a business, created jobs and also helped the environment. I am impressed by the company’s courage and drive”, he says.