Back To Top

The LIFE MUSCLES Project involves the construction of a pilot plant for the recycling of socks, mounted on a container that can be transported to the production areas. The recovered polymeric materials will be reused to make new screens.

In parallel, a process will be developed to make screens with biodegradable and compostable biopolymers to replace polypropylene. The project also includes awareness-raising and communication actions aimed at mussel farmers, sector operators and consumers regarding the sustainability of the production process.

Click on the main actions to view the individual sub-actions

The Project Actions include:

Collection and analysis of data useful for defining the state of the art of mussel farming in the Mediterranean, to provide a precise picture of the importance of this productive sector for the economy, the Italian market and the food supply chain. This action will allow to have reliable estimates on the dispersion of PP socks during the production processes and to define the challenges in the production process of the Italian mussel supply chain. This action aims at creating a reference document at national level establishing the basic knowledge on the link between the aquaculture sector and its impacts on the marine environment in terms of litter dispersion and good practices to limit it. 

Formulation of different types of biomaterials that ensure adequate performance of the nets while preserving the biodegradability and compostability, taking into account the key parameters – such as thermal, mechanical properties or morphology – which influence the performance of traditional and non-biodegradable nets. The use of biopolymer networks will bring benefits to both the marine and terrestrial environments because they will contribute on the one hand to mitigate the damage of marine litter and on the other to obtain new recycled and compostable products.

Analysis of the water column and monitoring of microplastics in pilot sites to verify the potential presence and effects of PP and BP fragments and degradation products derived from the mussel production cycle.

Design and construction of a mobile recycling plant for PP and BP socks according to the community regulation 2006/42/CE relative to the safety of the machine with moving parts managed by operators. The plant will be designed to collect approximately 300 kg of socks per day and will be based on the use of commercially available semi-industrial equipment and according to to the preliminary data. 

Sea trials of BP socks for the mussel production cycle, with tests of mechanical resistance, validation of breeding techniques and productivity, product quality, nutritional and sensory quality of the specimens bred in BP socks.

Information campaigns for mussel farmers and fishermen to illustrate the impacts plastic waste has on marine ecosystems; involvement of local communities and tourists in beach cleaning events; educational programs for schools aimed at protecting the seas from pollution; webinars information to make public institutions and local authorities aware of the solutions that can be adopted to reduce the problems deriving from the dispersion of stockings for mussel farming. Creation of the LIFE MUSCLES label as a tool to promote the reduction of the environmental impact of mussel farms. Purchasing mussels in packaging derived from project activities will be an opportunity to make this sector more competitive and sustainable thanks to the setting up of a virtuous circular supply chain involving mussel farmers, retailers and large-scale distribution, institutions, local authorities and consumers.


Make a splash with WaveRide, designed for everyone passionate about all things surfing.

184 Main Collins Street Victoria 8007
Follow Us: