Shuck Don’t Chuck seafood shells

By Jena Carr

Geelong and Torquay restaurants are being asked to donate and help re-purpose seafood shells through an environmental program.

The Nature Conservancy Australia’s Shuck Don’t Chuck initiative aims to recycle mussel, oyster, and other seafood shells to help with reef restorations.

B-Alternative helps run the initiative, and marketing coordinator Veronica Mackie said she encouraged the region’s restaurants to join the cause.

“We collect mussel, oyster and scallop shells from different restaurants, venues and even wholesale seafood places,” she said.

“Through that collection, instead of going to landfill, we clean them and cure them for about six months, and then replant them in shellfish reef harbours for restoration projects.

“It’s actually cheaper for restaurants to recycle the shells with us than it is for them to pay the fee that’s going to increase this year to send them to landfill.”

Ms Mackie said the initiative would help eradicate waste across the region by offering a more sustainable alternative to landfill.

“With this initiative, we’re closing the loop and making it circular by regenerating life again and putting it back into the reef,” she said.

“The thing is with shells; most people will chuck them into the landfill, and then it’ll take them 100 plus years to break down.

“If you put them into compost, it’s a bit better, but it’s still quite difficult because shells don’t get ground if you just chuck them into the compost. It will still take quite a long time.”

Visit for more information about the Shuck Don’t Chuck initiative or about what B-Alternative does.