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Reducing the use of plastic in the seafood industry

Call for innovators to create alternative packaging to the frequently used expanded polystyrene (EPS) boxes.

Expanded polystyrene has been the material of choice for packing fish and eggs for many years. It is tough, shock absorbing, a good insulator, and also adds very little weight to the final product meaning transport and fuel costs are kept to a minimum. This explains why more than 50 million EPS boxes a year are used by the Norwegian seafood industry alone. EPS is, however, a product derived from plastic and we know that plastic pollution is having a negative impact on our oceans so it is time to make a change.

The Bergen Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently held a conference on plastic pollution where experts gathered to discuss what can be done to both clean up what exists now and reduce consumption in the future. Birgitte Sorheim, Marketing Director at Benchmark Genetics and member of Benchmark’s Sustainability Working Group highlighted the lack of alternatives to EPS packaging and called for EPS producers, the seafood industry and entrepreneurs to take the opportunity to find replacement solutions.

Birgitte Sorheim, Marketing Director

There must be great potential for profitable innovation, as there are more than 50 million EPS boxes a year used by the Norwegian seafood industry alone. Just imagine the number world-wide! New laws and regulations in the EU and the US may also lead to a ban of EPS in just a few years ahead. So, it is high time for the industry to support and lead this development.

At Benchmark, we are committed to operating in a responsible and sustainable way. With the size of the world economy growing rapidly and the world population set to significantly increase, global consumption of materials is generating incredible pressure on natural resources. It is more important than ever that we ensure the sustainable use of the resources available to us.

You can read Benchmark’s commitment to sustainable materials in our Environmental Policy here

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