Implementing solutions in three major regions in Chile, our Net Positiva program is targeting more inclusive solutions to prevent fishing net waste. Adapting to the needs of individual fishing communities, we have found a combined approach with physical collection points located dockside and secured preparation areas in local workshops to stockpile and prepare collected nets. Beyond larger ports, we are implementing solutions to smaller fishing communities with limited access to waste management infrastructure for fishing gear.
Constructing three new physical collection points this week in Tumbes, Chile, we are finding traction with individual fisherman, who are passing on the program mission with key community stakeholders. Marked by vibrant colors, thick green hillsides, and dark blue waters these communities recognize the importance of protecting their most valuable resource, our oceans.
Faced with a burden of ongoing net waste, and a lack of infrastructure to dispose of the material responsibly, fisherman have expressed their gratitude for the new infrastructure and assistance. We strongly believe that every fisherman and every fishing port in the world needs access to a coordinated waste management system for their fishing gear. Our goal is to pass on knowledge for end of life solutions, show value in the materials, and provide infrastructure for nets to be disposed of in an environmentally conscious manner. Aligning our collection program with local non-profits, (including Fundacion El Arbol in the Concepcion region), we are working towards systems to financially support participating communities.
In contact with local managers to ensure collection points are maintained, materials are collected and sent through our recycling program in Santiago, Chile. Undergoing a mechanical recycling process, nets are repurposed for incorporation into innovative products, including our fishing net skateboards and the newly released Ocean Collection sunglasses. A collaboration with innovative Chilean eyewear company, Karun, we have teamed up with Karun’s talented team to release an eyewear collection made from 100% recycled fishing nets sourced from our Net Positiva program. Finding solutions to the material waste allows us to support the expansion of recycling programs, and to build a sustainable business.
We know that our programs are not inclusive, with a focus on one source of plastic pollution, but we have seen the positive impacts and we are expanding these programs and focusing on prevention. Aligned with our mission, we are pushing for our recycling programs to bring broader awareness to the global issue of plastic pollution and encourage wider audiences to be a part of solutions.