When you throw something away, it doesn’t really go “away.” Since it’s not economically viable to launch all our garbage into the sun, much of it is incinerated here on Earth, which pollutes our air; and most of it just kind of . . . sits there, which harms our wildlife. Nowhere is the garbage problem more prevalent than in our oceans, where there are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of trash.
Thankfully, there are some organizations that are actually trying to do something about the extra clutter. One such organization is Bureo, a Chilean skateboard company that uses a unique material for its products: discarded fishnets.
This may sound like an odd choice — that’s because it is. However, it starts making sense once you consider that discarded fishnets alone account for about 10% of the plastic trash in the sea. By using recycled fishnets, Bureo’s fishnet collection program, called Net Positiva, provides Chilean fishermen with an easy and responsible fishnet disposal method; meanwhile, Bureo forgoes the need to mine new materials from the Earth for its products.
Now, Bureo has extended their ingenious and eco-friendly practices to the world of sunglasses. In collaboration with the Chilean eyewear company Karün, Bureo has released The Ocean Collection: three handsome frames made from — you guessed it — derelict fishnets. With spring just beginning, now’s as good a time as any to get some rockin’ new shades — particularly some that are environmentally friendly.
According to Bureo, their unique fishnet manufacturing process produces 70% less greenhouse gas emissions than manufacturing processes that use virgin materials. Best of all, the process puts otherwise worthless — and to marine life, dangerous — fishnets to good use.
Though the oceans may be vast, they are not infinite. If we keep up our current habits of waste disposal, the trash problem will become much more than a faraway statistic. By using waste as their raw materials, companies like Bureo are setting a fascinating and important precedent for the future of manufacturing. One man’s trash is another man’s rad shades!