Our journey towards sustainability was long. It started in 1990 facing many challenges in the years. When researching for end of life goods made of nylon 6 to produce ECONYL® nylon, we figured out that fishing nets were an important source of the ingredient.
There are two different types of fishing nets we are dealing with: mainly nets from the aquaculture and fishing industries and, in a smaller quantity, nets recovered through the Healthy Seas foundation.
We got in contact with the fishing industry to learn more about it and we found out that a large amount of fishing nets is produced for fish farms and that they are replaced frequently. We started collaborating with as many fish farms as possible and started collecting the nets.
While working with the fishing industry we discovered the relevant environmental problem of the ghost nets in the seas and oceans. Here is where the Healthy Seas Foundation came out.
Healthy Seas, a journey from waste to wear, is an initiative that Aquafil founded in 2013 with another business (Star Sock) and an NGO.
The purpose of the initiative is not only to clean the oceans and seas of marine litter such as derelict fishnets responsible for the needless death of marine animals but also to prevent them from ending up in the seas and raise public awareness.
The fishing nets recovered in collection points from the sea bed by volunteer divers are first cleaned and sorted and then, those suitable for recycling (made of Nylon 6 and not too ruined), sent to Aquafil’s Slovenian regeneration plant. Not all the marine litter collected and rescued by the divers can be regenerated into brand new ECONYL® nylon. Indeed, some stuff retrieved during diving activities are made out of different materials. As we deal with Nylon 6 waste only, the rest of the collected trash is sent to different streams or used to produce energy.
Visit healthyseas.org for more info and to support Healthy Seas activities.