UTO Spain

The project began in September 2015 thanks to the support of the HAP Foundation. During this initial phase of the project, 9 fishing ports from the provinces of Castellón and Alicante decided to collaborate and they managed to remove more than 60 tonnes of trash. In June 2016, Ecoembes joined the project and thanks to their involvement, the project extended to the provinces of Girona, Barcelona, Tarragona and Valencia. To date, we’ve managed to involve 28 ports, 14 of which are from the Community of Valencia, 14 from Catalonia, amounting to a total of 441 sea trawlers.

Every day the fisherman deposit the garbage collected in the containers. The 800-litre capacity containers are hauled every fifteen days.

MORE THAN 100 T/year

of marine debris recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean sea

The garbage from each port is sent to the recycling plant where it is classified. The recovered PET is stored, while the rest of the debris is recycled using conventional methods.

The Ecoalf Foundation has managed to involve Spanish companies that are leaders in their respective areas (from waste management companies, technological centres and recyclers, to thread and fabric manufacturers) that will collaborate in this project and share their experience in recycling different types of debris (PET bottles, fishing nets, used tires, etc…) and the R+D accumulated through their international alliances with specialised technological recycling specialists.

The bales of PET are taken to a recycler that cleans and transform them into pellets by using sophisticated technological processes referred to as polymerisation. The pellets that are obtained are between 3 and 6 mm in size and they are prepared for the next step in the extrusion process.

Once Ecoalf’s required purity conditions and technical properties have been met, a continuous filament is created through the extrusion and spinning of the pellets.

Lastly, the thread is used to produce fabrics with properties and design of the same quality as top-of-the-line non-recycled materials.