Waste material in the world’s oceans and waterways is causing significant damage to the environment. A number of organisations and individuals are working to remove the material from these sensitive habitats and, to prevent this recovered material from simply ending up in landfill, designers and manufacturers are using it to create new products.
The FourthElement wetsuit (1), the Prada Re-nylon bag (2) and the Interface carpet tiles (3 - 5), all use Econyl® which is a recycled nylon (polyamide) made from ghost nets by Aquafil. Ghost nets are fishing nets that break free or are cut loose by commercial boats and remain floating in the water where they continue to catch wildlife undetected.
To prevent recovered waste from ending up in landfill, it is important that there are outlets that find value in such plastics materials. However, the most sustainable way of using waste material is to prevent it from entering the natural environment in the first place. The NONA pegs (6 - 7) and Ocean Plastic Pots flower pot (8) are made from discarded ropes. The ocean plastics used in the pegs is sourced as a result of an interception programme in place across various ports that reimburses the fisherman for worn-out fishing gear, such as ropes and nets, therefore preventing it from entering the ocean as broken equipment. NONA stands for no oceans no air, and represents the risk of the collapse of the oxygen producing phytoplankton due to plastics pollutants in the oceans. The Scottish manufacturer Ocean Plastic Pots obtain rich colours in their products by selecting and sorting the raw materials of the desired colour, therefore removing the need to take out or add colour during production.