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Fishing traps and debris being recycled.

End-of-Life Fishing Gear Management (2020-2023)

The Fishing Gear Coalition of Atlantic Canada (FGCAC) embarked on a comprehensive initiative aimed at the removal and recycling of end-of-life fishing gear within Atlantic Canada and Quebec. Collaborating with various stakeholders, the FGCAC achieved noteworthy milestones in the project’s evolution. Leveraging partnerships with primary recyclers such as American Iron & Metal, Plastix A/S, and PLAEX Building Systems Inc., the project successfully exceeded its targeted goals for fishing rope collection. Despite encountering challenges related to equipment shortages and variations in trap types across regions, significant quantities of fishing gear were collected and shipped for recycling, showcasing the organization’s adaptability and commitment to its objectives.

Moreover, the FGCAC forged alliances with waste facilities and service commissions, though some sites faced hurdles due to infrastructure constraints and extreme weather disruptions. Communication played a pivotal role in the project’s success, utilizing various channels, including a dedicated project website, industry events, and targeted flyers. These efforts facilitated engagement with stakeholders and the fishing industry, demonstrating the organization’s proactive approach to community involvement. Furthermore, the FGCAC laid the groundwork for future dialogues with Environment Ministers, crafting a plan for Extended Producer Responsibility pending the completion of consultations, aligning project strategies with Best Practices and Policies. These achievements highlight the FGCAC’s significant strides in responsible fishing gear management, overcoming challenges while establishing a foundation for continued progress in the region.

At the heart of the End-of-life Fishing Gear Management Program lies the principle of a circular economy, ensuring products and materials are consistently in use, diverted from landfills. This program embodies a closed-loop system, where the outputs serve as resources to be continually recycled at the end of their life cycles.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: The initial step involves the inclusion of a fee at the point of purchase of the original item. This fee serves as the cornerstone for the entire cycle.

Step 2: When the item reaches its end-of-life, it is returned to a designated collection depot with no additional fees. This process eliminates tipping fees at waste resource management facilities, promoting responsible waste management!

Step 3: The fee paid at the point of sale covers all expenses linked to transportation and material processing required for recycling.

Step 4: The end-of-life products undergo recycling, transforming them into new, usable products, thus completing the circle of this sustainable system.

This closed-loop system not only minimizes waste but also ensures a continuous and sustainable cycle, where products and materials are perpetually utilized and repurposed, aligning with our commitment to environmental sustainability and responsible resource management.

Our Product Stewardship Program has 3 stages:

  1. Research and Development Stage: April 2021 – March 2024
  2. Province-wide Pilot Stage:  April 2024 – March 2025
  3. Full Implementation Stage: April 2025 onwards