28 April 2015 | 2 minutes.

BUREO: giving fishing nets a new life


After the success of making skateboards from discarded fishing nets in Chile, BUREO has now partnered with Patagonia in the development of NetPlus® – a fully traceable, 100% recycled fishing net material – now used for brim stiffeners in hats. This is just the first step in NetPlus’ integration into Patagonia’s supply chain, with a combined mission to re-use existing waste and reduce the need for new plastics.

Skateboard producer BUREO has an innovative and environmentally conscious approach to their manufacturing process. As an alternative to wood, BUREO’s boards are made from discarded plastic fishing nets harvested from Chile’s Pacific coastline.

Fishing nets add to the abundance of plastic litter in our oceans. They present a serious threat to marine ecosystems worldwide. Aimed at tackling this problem, Bureo launched ‘Net Positiva’, a recycling program based in Chile, which collects and recycles damaged, scrapped, and castaway fishing nets.

When asked about ‘Net Positiva’, Greg Swienton of Bureo Skateboards tell us that “it can be very challenging for the fishermen to manage the disposal of their old nets, which is part of the reason why it makes up a significant proportion of the oceans’ plastic pollution. In response, we pioneered ‘Net Positiva’, Chile’s first-ever derelict fishnet collection and recycling program where we provide the fishing syndicates conveniently placed disposal bins and pay the fishermen a commodity price per kilogram for turning in their old nets. This provides an additional income and the incentive to make sure these nets are not ending up in the marine environment.”