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ABB Pioneers Advanced Cable Protection Solution Crafted From Discarded Ocean Fishing Nets

April 23, 2024

An estimated 1 million tons of abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear (ALDFG), the equivalent of 50,000 double-decker buses, litter the world’s oceans every year, endangering marine life as a major source of ocean plastic pollution. To help address dangerous marine pollution, ABB Installation Products pioneered cable protection crafted from 50% recycle-based polyamide using primarily recovered fishing nets. A sustainable alternative to conventional plastic-based systems used to protect critical power and data cables, ABB’s PMA EcoGuard PA6 RPPA conduit requires less energy and water to produce, reducing 30% of upstream Scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions and 50% of net freshwater use.

High-performance wire and cable protection is essential to powering electrical systems and production environments safely and reliably. PMA EcoGuard PA6 RPPA conduit, part of ABB’s EcoSolutions line of innovative and sustainable solutions, complies with a set of key performance indicators defined in ABB’s circularity framework and carries an external, third-party verified Lifecycle Assessment (LCA, Type III).

“ABB’s commitment to circularity and transparency extends across the entire product lifecycle from initial design and sourcing to manufacturing, through use and end of life. Developing advanced products from repurposed materials, like PMA EcoGuard cable protection, meets the demands of industrial applications, while helping provide jobs, protect marine life, preserve resources, and promote a more sustainable and environmentally responsible future,” said Andrea Castella, Europe Region Leader, ABB Installation Products Division. “Expanding ABB’s PMA product range to include EcoGuard PA6 gives our customers a post-consumer, recycle-based nylon cable protection solution they can rely on to easily integrate with their machinery and systems, deliver dependable performance, and help reduce risk, waste and negative environmental impact.”

Transforming discarded ocean fishing nets into technically advanced cable protection

To lower Scope 3 emissions and make this innovation possible, ABB partnered with Envalior, a global leader in sustainable and high-performance engineering materials. ABB leveraged its nearly 50 years of cable and conduit technology and dedicated circularity approach with Envalior’s deep materials expertise. Through this collaboration, ABB’s PMA EcoGuard cable protection solutions have been engineered for strength, durability, compatibility and recyclability across a range of applications, including machine building, renewable energy, telecommunications and infrastructure.

ABB’s PMA EcoGuard cable protection products include Envalior’s Akulon RePurposed, a 100% recycled-based polyamide made of fishing nets recovered from coastlines. In addition to benefitting local economies and the environment, the Akulon RePurposed compound is UL2809 ECVP-certified for Ocean-Bound Plastic (OBP) content and employs production processes that result in a 70% lower carbon footprint than similar fossil-based nylon 6 materials. Made of high-grade polymer, ABB’s new PMA EcoGuard PA6 cable protection system meets the European Union’s (EU) environmental REACH regulations and the EU’s RoHS standards for hazardous waste restrictions.

For nearly half a century, ABB’s PMA solutions have been used to protect data and electrical cables and wires from damage caused by strain, stress and extreme conditions in commercial and industrial applications. Designed for demanding installations, the new line includes three products: PMA EcoGuard PA6 RPPA conduit, a flexible and lightweight corrugated nylon conduit that is UV and weather-resistant; BRND fittings help prevent liquid and dust ingress and are IP66 rated; and compact, one-piece BFHRP conduit holder lends support and adjusts for easy installation and maintenance.

PMA cable and conduit solutions are tested, produced and packaged in recyclable materials at ABB’s Uster, Switzerland facility and available globally.

Building on its 125-year history of pioneering in electrification, ABB Installation Products creates solutions to safely connect and protect electrical systems that power businesses, cities, homes and transportation. With more than 200,000 products under 38 premium brand names, ABB Installation Products, formerly Thomas & Betts, solutions are found wherever electricity is used around the world and in space.



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