Globally, scientists estimate that there is roughly 640,000 tonnes of abandoned fishing nets currently in our ocean. To put that into perspective, that is the same weight as approximately 55,000 double decker buses (KOMPAN, 2022).
Also known as ‘ghost gear’ the fishing equipment doesn’t just stop working when abandoned, it still catches turtles, fish, dolphins, birds, sharks, seals and more. In fact, one fishing net can be the size of a football field, entangling hundreds and thousands of animals and also causing damage to marine habitats such as coral reefs by breaking the coral or blocking much needed sunlight (Giskes, 2017).
Fishing nets are made from plastic compounds that can last for centuries and whilst they may break down, they never go away; they just become smaller pieces of plastic. Ghost nets are estimated to make up 10% of the plastic waste in our oceans, but represent a much higher proportion of large plastics floating around on the surface. One study found that as much as 70% (by weight) of micro plastics found floating on the surface of the ocean was fishing related (Laville, 2019).
In recent years, entrepreneurs and innovators have repurposed these nets and given them a second life. For example, the Healthy Seas Initiative recovers nets from the bottom of the ocean and repurposes them into a high-quality nylon yarn that can be used in products such as socks, swimwear and carpets (Healthy Seas 2013). Another innovator is Nomad Surfing, a French sustainable surfing equipment supplier, who create their surfboards from plant-based bio-resin and their board bags from recycled vinyl posters and are now using recycled fishing nets for their fins (Marine Industry News UK, 2020). Emerging recycling technology is seeing ocean waste to be repurposed into sunglasses, gym clothes, skateboards and accessories.
So, I guess you are thinking, what does ocean waste and playgrounds have in common?
Well, our play partner, KOMPAN are now repurposing post-consumer ocean recycled waste (such as fishing nets, ropes and trawls collected from the maritime industry. The new Made Green GreenLine products have been developed to be made of ocean waste, textile, food packaging waste, plastic bags and more: materials that have lived their intended life and that are now being recycled to live a new life (KOMPAN, 2022).
Compared to normal KOMPAN products, they are just as good to play on, look just as good, are just as solid and come with warranties that are just as long. KOMPAN and Urban Play can now deliver circular playground solutions that offer a reduction in carbon emission.
Get in touch to book a play talk to learn more about KOMPAN’s sustainable journey, their new range and how your choices can create happier and healthier communities – in a sustainable way. BOOK NOW
Eriksen, M., Lebreton, L., Carson, H., Thiel, M., Moore, C., & Reisser, J. (2014). Dumped fishing gear is biggest plastic polluter in ocean, finds report. Plastic Pollution in the World’s Oceans: More than 5 Trillion Plastic Pieces Weighing over 250,000 Tons Afloat at Sea, https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0111913.
Giskes, I. (2010, October 17). The ghosts in our ocean: lost and abandoned fishing gear is killing thousands of marine animals every year. Retrieved from Impaker: https://impakter.com/the-ghosts-in-our-ocean-lost-and-abandoned-fishing-gear-is-killing-thousands-of-marine-animals-every-year/
Initative, H. S. (2021, October). A journey from waste to wear. Retrieved from Healthy Seas Initative: https://www.healthyseas.org/marine-protection/#what-we-do
KOMPAN. (2022, January). Creating value with ocean waste. Retrieved from KOMPAN Sustainability: https://www.kompan.com.au/sustainability/creating-value-with-ocean-waste
Marine Industry News UK. (2020, August 14th). Abandoned fishing nets transformed into surf fins. Retrieved from Marine Industry News : https://marineindustrynews.co.uk/it/abandoned-fishing-nets-turned-into-surfboard-fins/