Nieddittas is an Italian mussel farm excellence that has been operating in Sardinia for more than fifty years. From the collaboration of Nieddittas, which manages the entire mussel farming chain in the Gulf of Oristano, and MEDSEA (Mediterranean Sea and Cost Foundation), a nonprofit institution for the protection and sustainable development of coastal ecosystems, the Blue Eco Lab was born with the intention of creating eco-design solutions through the recovery of waste materials from the mussel farming chain.
One of the projects developed in the partnership is an outdoor bench produced through the upcycling of waste from Nieddittas mussel production. Polypropylene elements of the pallets used for fish transport were transformed into the slats of the bench seat through a dedicated treatment and extrusion process. The bench bases on the other hand are made of a cementitious compound that incorporates ground mussel shells and scraps from the Orosei marble quarries. The project, signed by the designer Paola RIviezzo, was made possible also thanks to the scientific contribution of DICAAR – Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering of the University of Cagliari.
A second project inspired by a circular economy approach was to reuse mussel shells for the construction of artificial islets at the Corru Mannu pond to support the settlement and nesting of local bird species. The islets are formed by burlap bags filled with mussel shells from the processing of Nieddittas. Their surface layer consists of a mixed layer of crushed shells, mussels and byssus to make the surface welcoming to future guests of the islet.