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With the Net Positiva project, fishermen receive crates to collect their old nets which are then melted and transformed into skateboards.
Circular economy connects the sea of big harbours and small villages with metropolitan centres of the whole world: in this case, the connection is ensured by Ben Kneppers, a Californian entrepreneur who lives in Chile and decided to start building skateboards by recycling old fishing nets.
Kneppers had the idea together with two friends when they noticed how many fishing nets were being discarded on beaches. For quite some time they had been thinking about ways to solve the problem of plastic pollution in oceans, and the winning idea came when they realized that they could combine environmental engagement with their passion for skateboarding.
“We thought of combining our fields of expertise: engineering design, engagement in sustainable development and finance, to do something good” explains Kneppers.
It wasn’t hard to convince fishermen to recycle their fishing nets, which take a lot of space and are dangerous and polluting when abandoned: this is how the Net Positiva program was started. The fishermen are given collection crates and paid for this unusual kind of waste sorting.
The nets are melted and reshaped in a mould that transforms them into skateboards ready to be sold in the United States. Considering the project’s success, participation and positive environmental impact, after recycling about 40 tons of nets in two years, Keppers and his team are planning to launch a similar program in other countries as well.