Royal DSM, a global science-based company in nutrition and sustainable living, and watersports company Starboard are collecting and upcycling discarded fishing nets to create a material for consumer goods such as surfboard components.
DSM and Starboard came together when the surfboard company selected DSM’s Akulon RePurposed, where the resin used is fully recycled from discarded nylon-based fishing nets and is known for its sustainability profile. The discarded fishing nets are gathered from the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, and are given a new lease of life as fins, fin boxes, SUP pumps and other structural parts in surfboards. All the products made using Akulon RePurposed, are branded as NetPositive! by Starboard.
“At DSM, our strategy includes developing innovative solutions and collaborations that contribute to a circular economy and aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals addressing climate change, resource scarcity, waste and pollution. We look beyond society’s current model of take-make-dispose and instead try to mimic nature and the circle of life. For example, in our collaboration with Starboard we use waste to make a long-lasting, high-value material that can again be recovered at the end of its life cycle to become something new,” said Matt Gray, Commercial Director Asia Pacific, DSM Engineering Plastics.
In addition to addressing environmental concerns, the collection, sorting, cleaning and processing of discarded fishing nets creates sustainable livelihoods for several local communities in India, said the company.
“One of the most satisfying parts of our work is the challenge of redesigning our products to lower their environmental impact and achieve higher performance,” said Svein Rasmussen, Founder and CEO, Starboard. “Through this collaboration with DSM, we showcase how quick and easy it can be to change the way we build better boards for the planet. We want to continuously push boundaries for more eco-innovations for our boards.”