The ocean covers more than 70% of the earth’s surface, and approximately 97% of the earth's water can be found in the oceans, so it is no wonder the world’s oceans are considered a life force. Oceans not only play a vital role for marine ecosystems, but they help regulate the earth’s temperature by transferring heat around the world, driving climate and weather systems, and playing a key role in the global carbon cycle. Also, oceans supply living and non-living resources, from fisheries and marine biotechnology to minerals and renewable energy. Oceans also provide social and economic goods and services, such as tourism and recreation, and marine transport and security.
It’s unfortunate that oceans have become a dumping ground for garbage. You probably have heard of the Pacific Garbage Patch, but there two other gyres where marine debris collects—one in the South Pacific Ocean and the other in the North Atlantic, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Ghost fishing nets—lost or abandoned fishing nets—are a major contributor to large ocean garbage patches. According to a 2018 study in Scientific Reports, ghost nets make up at least 46% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. These abandoned fishing nets can be as large as ten kilometers long, and drift on ocean currents, continuing to catch fish and other marine animals long after they have been lost or disposed of.
Even though the ocean garbage patch situation seems bleak, the good news is that DSM is partnering with a growing list of purpose-led companies, working to overcome this challenge. For instance, Pufferfish is partnering with DSM to develop premium tools for building sand castles using Akulon® RePurposed PA6, which is made using recycled fishing nets.
Lee Ott, founder of Pufferfish, came up with the idea of making high quality sand tools after he and his family took a Hawaiian vacation. While on vacation, Ott had difficulty finding quality sand shovels and pails to use at the beach with his children. The sand shovels he purchased broke as he was playing in the sand with his children.
“When I came home from the vacation, I started thinking about this experience and realized there are no quality sand tools—what is available are flimsy toddler toys,” explained Ott. “I wanted the nice version, but there wasn’t anything.”
To create a premium product Ott needed a materials solution that would stand up to wear and tear, and that was eco-friendly too. “We wanted to be eco-friendly from the start. We are committed to and want to make a positive effect on the environment.”
When Ott came across Akulon RePurposed, he thought it was the perfect materials solution for Pufferfish sand tools. “We wanted to use a material in which we are giving new life to something that would otherwise end up in the ocean, plus a material that is super strong.”
Pufferfish’s Super Scoop is an oversized and over-engineered version of the classic sand scoop and is made of Akulon RePurposed, and Pufferfish has an entire roadmap of future products made of the same.
A versatile and high-performance polyamide, Akulon RePurposed is 100% recycled polymer, containing recycled polyamide 6 at a maximum of 70% of the composition, and is reinforced with glass fibers. This materials solution is repurposed and used by customers around the world in cars, outdoor power equipment, electronics and electrical, furniture and packaging.
Driven by eco-innovation, a focus on quality and performance, and a positive contribution to the environment and society, Akulon RePurposed may be the material of choice for your next product design.
Account Manager for Envalior
17 July 2020
Account Manager for Envalior
Felice Szeto-Wong is an Account Manager for Envalior. Based in Cupertino, California, she helps consumer electronics companies overcome complex design challenges. Prior to joining Envalior, she bolstered her technical sales expertise working in the biomedical industry. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business finance at Baylor University, and went on to complete her MBA at the University of California – Irvine.
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