Project MarineClean was launched in December 2011 in Eastern Europe as a three year project. It is nearing completion. The 1.1 million Euro undertaking aims to decrease marine litter, one of the major ecological threats, in four areas of action:

  1. Collecting marine litter with new light equipment produced at Turna; 

  2. Producing edible and biodegradable packaging at EcoCortec that will help to reduce the quantities of marine litter due to degradability.

  3. Producing fishing nets at Turna and TC PoliEko that can be easily traced, collected and recycled when lost.

  4. Networking users and lobbying national and EU decision-makers to promote and expand use of eco-friendly products, intensified surveillance in the return of ship waste, and grants and/or discounts for edible and biodegradable packaging.

More than 90% of marine litter consists of plastic. Plastic has become one of the biggest contaminants in the world’s oceans, and as most types of plastic are not biodegradable, plastic debris poses a serious threat to various living species, boats and coasts.

EcoCortec is the most advanced manufacturer of biodegradable packaging in Europe. It was well placed to play a major role in project Marine Clean. It stepped into that role with gusto and became a production partner, which has led to the development of EcoOcean material. EcoOcean film and bags are constructed from an avant-garde bio-based polymer, PHA, with 77% bio-based content.

EcoOcean is fully marine biodegradable and will biodegrade by anaerobic digestion in marine, natural soil and water environments, backyard composting systems and municipal composting facilities. It is heat and moisture resistant, so it is also ideal for compostable bags and many flexible film packaging applications.

Some of the targeted markets for marine degradable packaging are: cruise lines, hotels and resorts in coastal areas of Europe as well as ecologically sensitive regions along rivers and lakes.

EcoCortec is also involved in the project's aim to influence policy change within the EU, to minimise pollution and develop a new technological platform for the next generation of environmentally friendly products and practices, that can be implemented in all countries of theEuropean Union and will have global environmental benefits.

Food & Drink Business

Goat milk formula manufacturer Nuchev has listed on the ASX as a publicly traded company. Shares were issued at $2.60, which jumped to $3.40 but ultimately closed at $3.20, 23 per cent above the issue price.

Nestlé's “more inclusive and enhanced” parental leave policy will give primary caregivers fully paid leave for 18 weeks and for secondary caregivers, an established new minimum of four weeks.

Animal-free ingredient company Motif FoodWorks is partnering with the University of Queensland (UQ) to test, modify and develop formulations which can improve the texture of plant-based meat products.