Circular Ocean

Circular Ocean aims to help reduce marine litter by incentivising its removal and enable communities and entrepreneurs across northern Europe to utilise plastic litter as a potential resource. Approximately 8 million tonnes of plastic litter enter the seas and oceans annually creating an eyesore on beaches and have a dramatic impact on marine wildlife. If current trends continue, it is estimated that by 2025 there could be one tonne of plastic for every three tonnes of fin fish in our seas. The transnational European project aims to inspire remote communities to realise the economic opportunities of discarded fishing nets and ropes, helping to tackle the problem of marine waste and support the move to a more circular economy.

As increasing levels of marine litter is particularly pertinent to the NPA region, the Circular Ocean project will act as a catalyst to motivate and empower remote communities to develop sustainable and green business opportunities that will enhance income generation and retention within local regions. Through transnational collaboration and eco-innovation, Circular Ocean will develop, share and test new sustainable solutions to incentivise the collection and reprocessing of discarded fishing nets and assist the movement towards a more circular economy.

Circular Ocean was the winner of the inaugural Public Choice Award at the European Commission’s RegioStars 2016 Awards, which was presented by the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, It was a double celebration for Circular Ocean, as it was also a finalist in category of Sustainable Growth: Circular Economy. 

Please visit the full project website: 


Project Manager: Dr Neil James
Lead Partner organisation: North Highland College UHI
Email: neil.james{at} 
Tel: +44(0)1847 889 579

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