Nofir’s activity starts with locating companies, fishermen, fish farmers who needs to dispose of fishing equipment. The equipment is transported to the factory in Lithuania or Turkey where it is dismantled and prepared for recycling. In the end of the value chain there are new products such as clothes (socks, bikini, shorts), carpets, furniture (hammocks, garden furniture), baskets for supermarkets, carpets etc.
The Norwegian company Nofir AS was set up in 2008 with the purpose of establishing a nationwide system for discarded plastic equipment from the fishing and fish farming sectors. The company was a result of a joint venture between a fish net producer and a waste management company based upon a joint problem: there existed few environmentally friendly methods of disposal for discarded plastic equipment from the fishing and fish farming industry. This problem has been well known and the organizations of Norwegian fishing vessel owners and Norwegian fish farmers have addressed the issue through several projects. Nevertheless a solution was not found until Nofir was established.
In 2012 Nofir was as first Norwegian company granted support from the European Union through the Eco Innovation Project. The goal of this initiative is to help good, innovative ideas that protect the environment become fully-fledged commercial prospects, ready for use by business and industry. In doing so the initiative not only helps the EU meet its environmental objectives but also boosts economic growth.
With this support Nofir was able to map and execute an expansion from Norway to Europe. From 2011-2015 Nofir collected equipment from 4 continents: Europe, Turkey, Asia, America.
Nofir gives a support to young and talented children in Taurage, Lithuania (the city where Nofir’s factory is located). Nofir supports:
Healthy Seas – non-governmental organization created by three founders: ECNC Group, Aquafil Group, Star Sock. The goal of their actions is to to remove waste, in particular fishing nets, from the seas for the purpose of recycling these into textile products like socks or swimsuits. Nofir became a partner of Healthy Seas in 2012 – In this cooperation Nofir is responsible for transporting and preparing the material for recycling.
Fishing For Litter Initiative – in 2015 Nofir became a part of Fishing for Litter in Norway. The goal of FFL activity is:
Most of the equipment is collected by Nofir and prepared for recycling
After 1 month test period, Fishing For Litter collected 1 577 kg of marine waste from the participating fishing vessels.
Circular Ocean project seeks to inspire enterprises and entrepreneurs to realize the hidden opportunities of discarded fishing nets and ropes. In some regions, collecting and recycling marine litter can be difficult due to low population, challenging infrastructure and transport costs. The ‘Circular Ocean’ project aims to overcome such obstacles by creating an online, open-access network allowing anyone to share and access practical and innovative ideas of how to reuse plastic. Already marine litter has been used to make new products including trainers, rucksacks, socks, jackets, skateboards, carpet tiles and sunglasses.
Nofir is also cooperating with Government Agency – Norwegian Directorate of Fisheries. The cooperation includes collecting and recycling fishing equipment, which is trawled up from the sea bed by NDF.