On February 21st, the first of the year’s missions to collect disused and discarded fishing nets took place. MEDASSET organised the action that is part of the European initiative: “Healthy Seas: A journey from waste to wear”. The aim is to reuse the waste nets, repurposing the nylon from which they are made through a process that ends in the production of new, environmentally friendly yarn – ECONYL®.
This is the third year in succession in which MEDASSET has coordinated the initiative in Greece, strengthening the collaborations that have been set up with both local fishermen’s associations and aquaculture enterprises.
The operation to collect the nets on this occasion involved visiting three separate locations: The installations of the “Kastellorizo” fish farm at Palaia Fokaia where 4 tons of nets were waiting; at Mikrolimano in Piraeus where the local association had gathered a further ton for the lorry to take, and finally along the coast at Alimos where 500 kilos of nets completed the load. In total that added up to 5.5 tons of otherwise useless nets that were sent off to the processing plant in Slovenia where they will be recycled to make premium quality ECONYL® yarn that can be used in the manufacture of a range of consumer products including clothing, carpets and more.
The “Healthy Seas: A journey from waste to wear” initiative takes place across 5 European states and draws together environmental NGOs, sustainable businesses, fishermen’s associations and aquaculture enterprises that all share a common goal: To free the sea from the abandoned “ghost nets” responsible for the needless death of thousands of marine species. It is worth noting that the Initiative is not confined simply to collecting waste nets and cleaning up the seabed but includes an innovative approach to the use of resources within a circular business model that is more sustainable than traditional ones.