When something is designed to entangle, restrict movement, and trap; it can only be dangerous if left on its own. Fishing nets are one such example. More than half a million tons of fishing nets are lost or left in the oceans each year. You can find them everywhere – on the coastlines, on the remotest islands, on the coral reefs, or even at the bottom of the ocean floor.
This ghost gear while floating in the oceans entangles not just the small fish, turtles, endangered marine life, but also bigger animals such as whales. It is estimated that just on the West Coast of the US alone, on an average 1 large whale gets entangled by fishing nets each month. Fishing nets have become the single biggest source of plastic choking out marine life.
The problem would not be so severe if they were not made of synthetic materials. Since plastic takes hundreds of years to degenerate, these fishing nets once left in the oceans are practically there forever. Earlier fishing nets used to be made of cotton, plant fibers, grasses; but like other industries, cheaply available plastic has replaced natural materials here as well, at a huge cost to the environment. Most fishing nets are made of nylon these days.
There is a ray of hope here. There are organizations that have started collecting and recycling these fishing nets to create recycled Nylon. It is estimated that one ton of these fishing nets can create 26,000 socks! Wow, Isn’t it great when you can attach economic value to a sustainability initiative! It provides incentives to businesses to follow more sustainable practices.
Many companies are doing an amazing job to create unique products out of recycled fishing nets. Check out this skateboard made out of recycled fishing nets. Such a great initiative to convert the trash into something long-lasting. Check out this Dad Hat made out of recycled Nylon from fishing nets.
We at GoodsAgain will continue to educate about the environmental impact of our actions as well as feature companies who are doing an amazing job in upcycling trash into beautiful products.