More than 7 million tonnes of sea shells are discarded every year by the food industry as waste.  Dr. James Morris, at the helm of a team of researchers at the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, said: “this is not just an expensive and ecologically damaging practice, but it’s also a huge waste of potentially useful biomaterials.” Among the applications proposed by Dr. Morris’s team  there is the use of discarded sea shells to restore the damaged oysters’ reefs or to start cultivating them. Shells are made up of 95% calcium carbonate, a compound used in many agricultural and engineering applications. They could be used in fields to control soil acidity. Calcium carbonate is also a common ingredient in the cement mix and it is used for the treatment of wastewater. Unfortunately, the one used for these purposes comes largely from the quarries, not very eco-friendly activity, that’s why replacing it with carbonate from shells could be useful.

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