Fishing nets: dangers and opportunities

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Background:

Ghost nets are lost or intentionally discarded fishing net floating in the sea. Doing so, they entangle fish, dolphins, se turtles, whales, seals and other marine creatures, and birds as well. This result in restricting movement, causing starvation, laceration, infection and ultimately the death of thousands animals a year.

Recently, estimates by the United Nations suggest that up to 10% of the trash collected in our oceans is now comprised of this debris. Fishing nets are made out of nylon, a really resistant material. They can stay for hundreds of year in the sea, a true danger for marine species. They also create a navigational hazard for boats and pile upon beaches.

Potential:

In 2013 Interface launched its Net Effect project. This carpet tile collection by InterfaceFLOR (the residential collection of Interface) is inspired by the ocean not only in its design but most importantly in the material it is made of.

Discarded fisher nets are collected by local communities in the Philippines and recycled. In addition to providing an income for the population, the project helps cleaning the environment. The fisher nets, which are a big threat to the coral reef, are removed from the sea and from the beaches where they have been staying for years. Indeed, nylon, the material used for both nets and carpet comes out of mineral oil and takes hundred of years to degrade. By recycling it, Interface lowers its energy-use and help to restore a fragile environment Carpet making is a pollution intensive industry, but Interface is making business in the most sustainable way possibles since 1995. They only use recycled or bio-produced materials and their Misson Zero goal was set in order to achieve zero environmental footprint by 2020.

Another firm using discarded fishing net is Bureo, who makes skateboards out of nets collected along the Chilean coast. The two young californian founder of Bureo are currently raising money on kickstarter to be able to launch the product for good.

Do it Yourself:

A derived DIY from this project consist in upcycling nets used to package lemons, onions and so on. Other DIYs inspired from the Net effect project are rugs woven out of plastic bags.

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