Today, it is estimated that there are around 130-140 thousand tubs used for catching and exporting fresh fish from Iceland. A large part of these tubs are insulated with urethane material, so-called PUR tubs. Their outer layer is made of polyethelene (PE), while the insulation is made of urethene. PUR tubs have good insulation but they are unlikely to be recycled due to the high cost of removing the urethene filling from the tubs at the end of the useful life.
In recent years, some commercial fishing companies have switched to PE tubs. The tubs are stronger compared to the PUR tubs. PE tubs are also fully recyclable and can therefore be reused into new tubs.
iTUB, which specializes in renting reusable tubs for the fishing industry, currently has around 50,000 containers in use in Iceland, Norway and Denmark. “The reason why we at iTUB went exclusively with PE tubs is because of the strength and the fact that these tubs are environmentally friendly. It is possible to recycle these tubs. Also, the insulation in the tubs does not absorb moisture or dirt as happens with PUR tubs”, explains Bragi Smith, sales and product development manager for iTUB in Iceland. “The lifespan of these tubs is long, 12-15 years, and their shape remains unchanged over time, which increases the safety of those who work with them” says Bragi.
Sæplast, which manufactures all the PE tubs for us, has developed a process where old and shabby tubs are shredded. The material is then treated in a certain way so that it becomes raw materials that can be used again in their factory in Dalvík, says Bragi, and explains that this is their way of taking environmental responsibility.
“It is sad to think that in the coming years and decades the fishing industry will have to get rid of tubs that cannot be reused,” says Bragi. “By choosing the right tubs for our rental system, we avoided having to dispose of tubs in landfills. At iTUB, we have therefore set ourselves the goal that all our tubs will be recycled when their useful life is over.
At iTUB, we are proud to be able to offer a solution that lowers carbon footprint in the fishing industry. This is our way to show social responsibility in action.