'Ghost' fishing nets source for Akulon® RePurposed, a recycled and recyclable polyamide

Plastic pollution devastates oceans and marine ecosystems worldwide and discarded nylon fishing nets are a big part of the problem. According to World Animal Protection, an estimated 640,000 tons of fishing gear is left in the ocean each year, accounting for almost 10% of all sea-based plastic waste.

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To address this critical environmental challenge and contribute to SDG 14 (conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development), DSM is now using abandoned plastic fishing nets as the source for Akulon® RePurposed, a 100% recycled polyamide suitable for a wide range of new products.

DSM & Starboard - partners driven by eco-innovation

Working with Starboard, a world-leading watersports company with a shared passion to protect the fragility of our oceans, DSM is helping to repurpose material recovered from discarded fishing nets collected along the coastlines of India. The nets are cut up, cleaned, extruded and inspected for quality by our dedicated local supplier and then shipped to us for compounding into a variety of grades of Akulon RePurposed.

This versatile, high performance polyamide relies on 100% sustainable feedstocks while delivering material performance nearly on a par with our virgin material grades. It's suitable for numerous industrial uses, outdoor furniture and sporting equipment - in Starboard 's case the fins, fin boxes and pumps of their stand-up paddle boards. What's more, Akulon RePurposed is 100% recyclable, so these parts don't become tomorrow's waste.

Together our companies are now upcycling about 3,000 metric tons of disused fishing net plastic each year, supporting litter-free beaches and a healthier marine environment.

At the same time we are helping to drive job creation and help coastal communities throughout India to develop new jobs and skills in collecting, sorting, cleaning and processing the nets. With an estimated 150 million tons of plastics currently circulating in the world’s waters, this innovative partnership may be a drop in the ocean in terms of DSM’s long-term marine sustainability objectives, but it’s an excellent start.

Published 01 May 2019

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