In order to reduce the pollution created by fishing nets abandoned on the beaches and in the oceans, the Bureo company has set up a fishing net recovery programme in several Chilean ports, giving the nets a surprising second life.
According to a report published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, around 640,000 tonnes of fishing nets are abandoned, or thrown into the sea, every year. This realisation prompted Ben, Kevin and David, three American surf enthusiasts, to come up with an original solution for collecting and recycling the nets: converting the nets into skateboards.
They moved to Chile in 2013 in order to develop their project, christened Bureo, which means "wave" in Mapuche, the Amerindian language spoken in Chile and Argentina.
The fishing nets are recovered through an initiative called Net Positiva, a fishing net recovery and recycling initiative that has the support of the Chilean government. Bureo Skateboards then processes the nets, converts them into plastic pellets that are subsequently moulded into a very specific skateboard, shaped like a fish, whose scales serve as grip. A clever nod to their origins!
15 tonnes of nets were recovered in 2014, and Bureo is now considering manufacturing sunglasses in addition to its skateboards.
In two years of existence, the three friends have already recycled close to 8,000 m² of nets, bearing in mind that 2m2 of nets are used to manufacture a skateboard.
The small company has begun working with a Californian fishermen's union in order to set up a similar project in the state.