In Belgium, researchers are looking at seafood industry shell waste as a valuable biomaterial to be used to restore oyster reefs. Usually thrown in landfills, discarded shells are also high in calcium carbonate and can be reused for farming applications. The crushed shells can be added to soil to help control the acidity or added to egg-laying hens feed to increase their calcium. Shells can also be used in cement and for treating wastewater instead of limestone which is mined and environmentally damaging.
The proposal is a win-win as seafood producers consider the disposal of the shells as a big burden and added cost to get it to landfills. This would solve their disposal problem while offering valuable uses for the discarded shells.