Leartiker and Azaro Fundazioa have made the official presentation of the CIRCULARSEAS | Mar 3 2020


Leartiker and Azaro Fundazioa have made the official presentation of the European project CIRCULARSEAS


  • The objective of the project is to seek reuse strategies for plastic waste generated from activities related to the maritime sector.
  • They will use 3D technology to create more sustainable products aimed at companies in the fishing sector.
In Markina-Xemein, March 3, 2020.


 The Leartiker technology center and the Azaro Fundazioa Entrepreneurship and Innovation center of Markina-Xemein held on February 27 the official presentation of the European CIRCULARSEAS project in the Old Brotherhood (“Cofradía Vieja”) of Ondarroa. The objective of this 3-year project launched in April 2019 is to seek strategies for the reuse of plastic waste from the maritime sector.

This project, which is co-financed by the Interreg Atlantic Area Program through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is based on the Lea-Artibai 2020 strategy.  Precisely, in the need to combine the fisheries sector and the Circular Economy, defined 6 years ago by Leartiker, Leartibai Garapen Agentzia, Azaro Fundazioa and Lea Artibai Ikastetxea for the economic development of the region.

The day was led by Leartiker as project leader and Azaro Fundazioa, as head of the Ondarroa Node. It was divided into two parts. To begin, the official presentation of the Circularseas project was made and then the first regional workshop.

The representatives of the Ondarroa Node (companies in the fishing sector) and its mayor, Zunbeltz Bedialauneta, were also present. Leandro Azkue, Director of the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Basque Government and Isabel Goyena García-Tuñón, General Director of Cicloplast, also participated.

Azkue discussed in his presentation the financing lines for the fishing sector. "The beneficiaries of these grants are not only fishermen, but also scientific or technical public law organizations, fishermen's organizations, advisory councils and NGOs in association with fishermen's organizations since we all generate such waste." he said.

Meanwhile, Isabel Goyena Garcia-Tuñón associated the challenges and opportunities of plastic with the Circular Economy and shared interesting data in relation to recycling. "In a period of 10 years we will have a 100% growth in the recycling rate , no waste will be taken to landfills, 60-70% will be recycled and the rest 30-40% will be used for energy recovery. ”she explained.

Jon Anakabe de Leartiker (researcher in the area of 3D printing), on the other hand, announced the fundamentals of 3D printing, since one of the points of the project is to create more sustainable pieces through 3D printing technology directed to companies in the fisheries sector. In Anakabe's words “this technology offers many advantages: constant production cost, more and better design options and using only the material that is necessary.

As for the next steps of the project, in March, a technical meeting will be held in Portugal.  The results of the diagnosis made in the 6 nodes will be published in April.  And on March 14, the second and third working meeting will be held with the companies of the sector at the Lea-Artibai Innovation Pole  in Markina-Xemein.



Alex Arrillaga, responsible for the area of 3D printing and biopolymers of Leartiker and who works hard on the Circularseas project, said that this project was born from the need to seek strategies for the management of plastic waste generated in the maritime sector. “This plastic waste will be valued and create various pieces for the fishing sector through 3D technology and thus close the cycle of plastic material used in the maritime industry.”  Arrillaga also mentioned in his presentation that another of the points of the project consists in promoting the development of more sustainable products and parts.

For this, 6 nodes have been defined.  One for each project partner: Ondarroa (Bizkaia), Vigo (Galicia), La Rochelle (France), Cork (Ireland), Plymouth (Great Britain) and Peniche (Portugal).


Maria Txakartegi, Innovation Technician at Azaro Fundazioa who works with the Ondarroa Node, showed the work done in collaboration with the representatives of the port of Ondarroa:

  • Define a common methodology to perform the diagnosis in the nodes of the project.


  • Characterization of the three subsectors that make up the Ondarroa Node: 1) fishing, auxiliary fishing (industrial activities related to fishing) and aquaculture. 2) shipyards and port management. 3) water sports.


  • Carrying out the diagnosis of the Ondarroa Node that is based on the mapping and characterization of the plastic waste generated in the node, in identifying the management routes of the generated plastic waste, as well as in the identification of possible green products that could be developed from recycled plastic or from more natural materials (of biological origin and / or that are biodegradable), which were printable in 3d.


For example, in 2019, 20 tons of net remains were generated at the port of Ondarroa and the brotherhood returned some 12,000 plastic boxes to the suppliers after terminating their useful life.



In this project that has just begun and will end in 2022, the people in charge believe that they will work hard and that it will be very interesting. They will have the opportunity to unite a theme such as recycling, so in trend today, with the sea and fishing that give identity to the Lea-Artibai region and offer the world a better place to live. It is a great challenge, but they are happy and looking forward to starting work.