Every year, millions of tons of plastic waste end up in the oceans, causing harm to marine life and contributing to environmental pollution. Discarded fishing nets are among the worst offenders, accounting for a significant portion of the plastic waste that ends up in the ocean. However, there is hope - innovative companies are finding ways to repurpose these discarded nets into sustainable products, such as sunglasses. In this blog post, we'll explore how these sunglasses are made and how they're making a positive impact on the planet.
The fishing nets we recycle come from two sources: ghost nets retrieved from the ocean by volunteer divers and discarded fishing nets from the fishing and aquaculture industries.
The first step in creating sustainable sunglasses from discarded fishing nets is to collect the nets from the ocean. According to the World Wildlife Fund, discarded fishing gear is the most harmful form of marine plastic debris, accounting for up to 10% of all ocean waste. By collecting these nets, we're not only preventing them from harming marine life, but we're also reducing the amount of plastic waste in the ocean.
The second way is collectting discarded fishing nets from the fishing and aquaculture industries.
Once the nets have been collected, they're cleaned and processed into a material known as "nylon 6" This material is durable, lightweight, and perfect for making sunglasses frames. Nylon 6 is also recyclable, so if the sunglasses ever need to be replaced, they can be recycled and repurposed again.
Apart from making sunglasses, recycled fishing net nylon is also used in textiles, furniture, electronics and cars, BMW started to use recycled fishing nets in model I3&IX. Other discarded fishing nets can be recycled into PE (polyethylene) pellets for the production of hats (brims), bags (liners), frisbees and bracelets.
What's more, sourcing retired nets from fishing communities can create additional job opportunities for fishermen by providing them with a new stream of income. Instead of disposing of their old nets, they can sell them to our organizations that recycle or repurpose them. This not only generates additional revenue for the fishermen but also helps to reduce waste in the ocean. Additionally, the process of collecting retired nets can create new employment opportunities for individuals who are involved in the collection, transportation, and processing of the nets. This can ultimately lead to an increase in the economic well-being of fishing communities.
By using discarded fishing nets and other eco-friendly materials, we are reducing the amount of plastic waste in the ocean and lowering their carbon footprint. According to a report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, if current trends continue, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050. By repurposing fishing nets and other plastics, we're working towards a more sustainable future.
In conclusion, sustainable sunglasses made from discarded fishing nets are a great example of how we are finding ways to repurpose waste and reduce their impact on the environment. By using these sunglasses, we're not only protecting our eyes from the sun, but we're also doing our part to protect the ocean and the planet. So, the next time you're in the market for a new pair of sunglasses, consider choosing a sustainable option made from discarded fishing nets. Together, we can make a difference.