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European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency


FISH chitinolytic biowastes FOR FISH active and sustainable packaging material

sustainable packaging

The fish industry produces huge amounts of plastic containers and more than 10,000 tons a year of shellfish food waste. Moreover, the shelf life of fresh fish is short and adds to food waste. In fact, fresh fish microbial spoilage accounts globally for around 10% (10 to 12 million tons per year) of the total production from capture fisheries and aquaculture.

FISH4FISH tackles both problems by using bio-waste of the seafood sector to produce an innovative, active and sustainable material for fish packaging, based on chitinolytic derivatives from different sources of crustaceans combined with lignin waste. The material obtained has prebiotic, antioxidant and antimicrobial potential as well as UV-shielding and improved mechanical properties. This way, FISH4FISH active packaging can not only enhance fish products’ shelf life but also serve as fertilizer and microbial preservative for plants once it is wasted, being biodegradable and home compostable.

This project, co-funded by the EMFF, represents a valuable economic support for the fishery sector, contributes to the reduction of plastic litter, gives new value to the fish industry waste and enhances the competitiveness of the fish-processing industry. It creates business for food industries and opens a new valorisation entry in cosmetic fields, nutraceuticals, prebiotics, textiles and agriculture. It boosts the bio-based sector and, thanks to the prolongation of the storage time, also benefits the food retailer sector.

Watch the interview to the project coordinator about FISH4FISH's main goals and added value and the project video showing how the innovative solution proposed contributes to turning the fish industry into an environmentally friendly bio-based model of circular economy and blue economy, closing the loop between waste and consumption.

You can find more info and links on this project also under the press release “Circular economy: From seafood waste to sustainable packaging”, published by DG MARE.



Department of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Pharmacy - University of Siena (Italy) (UNISI)



Asociacíon Nacional de Fabricantes de Conservas de Pescados y Mariscos-centro tecnico nacional de conservacion de productos (Spain) (ANFACO-CECOPESCA)