// Morrisons extends its partnership with Odyssey Innovation for another year
// Morrisons is the only supermarket to support a programme tackling ‘ghost fishing gear’ marine litter in British waters
Morrisons has extended its partnership with the marine scheme Odyssey Innovation for another year in order to continue tackling ghost fishing gear and save British coastal wildlife and habitats.
Over the last four years Morrisons has worked with Odyssey Innovation, a company that recovers and recycles waste marine plastic, to found and run the Net Regeneration Scheme which has seen fishermen in the South West responsibly recycle 100 tonnes of waste fishing gear to date.
Morrisons is the first and only supermarket to back a scheme which aims to tackle ghost fishing gear in British waters.
Working alongside Odyssey Innovation and in collaboration with Exeter City Council, Plymouth University and Seafish, Morrisons has helped to install waste skips at 10 ports across the South West to help fishermen to recycle unwanted or unusable gear.
Ghost fishing gear includes any abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear, which often goes unseen.
It is one of the deadliest wastes for sea wildlife, accounting for 10 per cent of global marine litter.
The United Nations expects the amount of plastic in oceans to treble in the next 20 years.
The scheme covers the cost of transporting gear and the full recycling loop, with some plastic waste being turned into sea kayaks.
The programme also helps to reduce CO2 by putting recycled plastic back into the economy, which has a significant CO2 saving over using new virgin plastic.
Morrisons aquaculture manager Joe Prosho said: “Morrisons is one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of fresh British fish with our own fishing business in the South West and we are determined to play our full part in cleaning up the oceans to preserve marine life and protect the planet.
“We want to continue our partnership with Odyssey Innovation by supporting the Net Regeneration Scheme to contribute to reducing old fishing gear that is a problem for so much wildlife.”
Separately, Morrisons has already committed to a 50 per cent reduction across its own-brand primary plastic packaging by 2025 and has introduced initiatives over the last 12 months that will remove 9,000 tonnes of unnecessary or problematic plastic each year.
Odyssey Innovation director Rob Thompson, said: “Working with Morrisons on this project has been an essential part of creating a collaborative scheme that benefits everyone involved.
“Getting the support from a big British fish supplier to help us, and others, tackle a problem that is growing in our seas, has the added benefit of giving consumers confidence that the seafood they are consuming has been sourced in the most sustainable way.”