Using protective coating solution from LINE-X (normally sprayed on truck bedliners), Vietnam’s Quang Ninh Province to enhance the durability of Styrofoam floats for fish farmers and save aquatic life from pollution
In celebration of Earth Day 2021, LINE-X, a U.S.-based leading manufacturer of high-performance protective coatings for truck bedliners, automotive and industrial uses, and its LINE-X Coating Developer in Vietnam, announced that they are working with Quang Ning Province in Vietnam to substantially reduce waste (by removing 3 million cubic meters of Styrofoam pollution in the next 10-20 years) in its Ha Long Bay region by applying coatings on the surface of foam floats used by local aquatic fish farmers. LINE-X is also contributing a sizeable amount of its coatings at no cost to the Quảng Ninh Province to further support the effort.
In 2015, Jenna Jambeck, an environmental engineer at the University of Georgia, analyzed plastic waste levels in the world’s oceans. According to her report, the 192 countries with a coast bordering Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, Mediterranean and Black seas produced a total of 2.5 billion metric tons of solid waste. Of that, 275 million metric tons was plastic, and an estimated 8 million metric tons of mismanaged plastic waste entered the ocean in 2010. According to a 2017 report by Ocean Conservancy covered by Forbes, Vietnam is among the top five countries in the world contributing to ocean pollution.
A significant portion of Vietnam’s aquatic pollution stems from the country’s floating farms with the help of Styrofoam floats that range in size from small – 25cm x 30cm x 50 cm – to large – 50cm x 60cm x 100cm. However, each float only lasts up to a year before the water causes the Styrofoam to break off and crumble, causing not only immense pollution on the bay and shores, but dangers aquatic life as the fish tend to eat the foam. With an estimated 20 million floats used in Ha Long Bay alone, this has been a serious problem for the area for decades.
In response, Quảng Ninh Province launched environmental protection projects, which aimed at finding a solution to prevent plastic and Styrofoam waste in the bay as well as helping the region become a model city for waste management. After three years of research and running pilot programs, one of its solutions is to apply LINE-X coatings, a high performance polyurea protective coatings offering scientifically formulated polymers that permanently bond to a wide range of surfaces for unmatched durability, to each float. With LINE-X applied, the floats have proven to drastically harden and become more durable – without effecting buoyancy – while minimizing breakage and flaking. With the floats having around 1-year shelf life before breaking away, LINE-X has extended its lifespan to 10 years. Furthermore, the coating itself is environmentally safe – particularly when compared to other coating solutions – as it’s made up of 100% solids, are not made with any volatile organic compounds (VOCs) or harmful solvents, and once coated, it doesn’t emit any harmful chemicals.
The floats that have been coated with LINE-X since the start of the project have shown no signs of wear or tear. It’s estimated that in 10 years, 10 million floats will be coated with LINE-X to keep the bay from being polluted. It’s also estimated that in 10-20 years, 3 million cubic meters of Styrofoam pollution will be eliminated because of the coated floats. All pilot projects have worked so well that the People's Committee of Quang Ninh Province has issued Document No. 6419/UBND-MT, dated September 5, 2019, on strengthening environmental protection in aquaculture activities and construction of floating works in the Province. The regulation states: "in case of using foam buoys, it is required to coat LINE-X paint on the surface to increase the durability of foam buoys, resist impact, compression, prolong while using.”
Quang Ninh Province has also made LINE-X's Vietnam branch, also known as SHQ Quang Ninh Limited Liability Company (operated by CEO Lam Nguyen Manh Cuong in Vietnam as well as president Mike Le in the U.S.), the first organization to be officially certified to apply local foam buoys with LINE-X products, according to the Province's regulation QCĐP 08: 2020/QN dated August 30, 2020.
“We’re excited for LINE-X to be applied to the floats of our local fishing farms. It drastically expands the life of the float and supports our aquatic farms from a cost savings perspective,” said Mr. Tang Van Phien, a local farmer in the Ha Long Bay. “Not only will we be able to go longer without purchasing new floats year after year since they last longer, we will also be saving money for pollution cleanup. LINE-X is helping us environmentally and economically.”
Each float (i.e. 25cm x 30cm x 50 cm) is estimated to cost around $6 USD. With LINE-X now being added, the farming community in the bay will be saving about 40% in total investment cost across 10 years compared to using normal foam buoys. LINE-X is also extending its support for the effort by donating a sizeable amount of its spray on coatings, helping the farmers to save even more.
“To say we are thrilled and honored on all the wonderful accomplishments the people and environment of Quảng Ninh Province and Ha Long Bay will be able to attain using LINE-X is an understatement,” said Lam Nguyen Manh Cuong, CEO of LINE-X Vietnam. “The local province officials and others have been great to work with and I admire their relentless efforts to turn their fishing communities into models for modern-day waste management. I have no doubt they will reach that goal in the coming years and we’re excited to be a part this mission.”
Roberto Martinez, LINE-X’s Senior Vice President, Marketing and International Development, added: “Part of our mission at LINE-X is to provide a coating that helps protect the most important assets to industries and everyday people. It’s humbling to know that our product has even a deeper and more significant use across the world where families and farmers get to protect their aquatic environment and main food source. That’s truly remarkable. We’re also proud of the fact that the Vietnamese people are able to make their fish farms cleaner by using a coating that is safe for the environment compared to other solutions that are out there.”