Interface and the Zoological Society of London have completed a pilot project collecting and recycling fishing nets in the Phillipines
The project entitled Net-Works aims to tackle the global problem of discarded fishing nets in poor coastal communities by setting up a community based supply chain for their reuse.
The project trialled in the Phillipines, is working to improve the lives of local fishermen whilst providing Interface with a source of recycled materials for their carpet tiles.
Discarded fishing nets can cause problems for both the environment and for marine wildlife as due to their material make up they do not biodegrade. Fishing nets are made from nylon, the same material used for carpet tiles and Interface have decided to tap into this.
In their trial Net-Works established the infrastructure to collect the fishing nets, working with local communities and NGOs. During the first month they collected 1,000kg of nets. This trial established that enough material could be gathered to make the project viable, and the intention is to begin making carpet tiles using recycled nets later this year.
Nigel Stansfield, chief innovation officer at Interface said: ‘The collected fishing nets have a nylon that can be recycled directly back into our carpet tiles, which will help us reduce our use of virgin raw materials and, critically, create livelihood opportunities for local communities. We are now looking forward to expanding operations and delivering the first carpet tiles from our collaboration.’
Collection systems, like that used in the trial, are to be set up in 15 coastal villages across the Phillipines. During the coming year Interface and the ZSL will also be looking to expand the idea globally, producing a toolkit allowing other community organisations to establish Net-Works supply hubs.
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