The Problem

Plastic waste represents a crisis for our oceans.

We’re all familiar with the images of giant plastic garbage patches which have been discovered in our oceans.

Estimates are that up to 7 million tonnes of plastic waste is reaching our oceans per year. Spread across millions of square kilometres.

Plastic waste, including microplastics, is putting the health of marine life at risk. And, in turn, there is growing concern about the potential impact of these microplastics entering the human food chain.

The rise and fall of polystyrene – from wonder product to waste nightmare

Polystyrene has been established as a high utility polymer over many years due to its cost, weight, insulating properties and ease of manufacture.

The seafood industry is a heavy user of polybins, which are now being recognised as a major waste management issue:

  • Polystyrene is essentially non-biodegradable, taking thousands of years to decompose.
  • It degrades in seawater, but it doesn’t biodegrade, with highly toxic small pieces called styrene monomers breaking down in our oceans, becoming edible to marine life and increasing the potential for harmful toxins to enter our human food chain.
  • It contains the toxic substances styrene and benzene, which are suspected carcinogens and neurotoxins.
  • It crumbles and can be blown around, causing pollution and nuisance in the surrounding areas.
  • It is extremely bulky, taking up vast space in landfills relative to its weight.
  • The economics of recycling polystyrene remain extremely poor.

Because of this, supermarket and food service operators are now actively looking to ban polystyrene from their business.

FishCap is a viable alternative to polystyrene packaging.