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From waste to wave

Akulon® RePurposed

Plastic pollution devastates oceans and marine ecosystems worldwide. Discarded nylon fishing nets are a big part of the problem: according to World Animal Protection, an estimated 640,000 tons of fishing gear is left in the ocean each year, accounting for almost 10% of all sea-based plastic waste. To address this critical environmental challenge, DSM is using abandoned fishing nets as the source for Akulon® RePurposed, a recycled polyamide which can be used to create a wide range of new products.

Working with Starboard, a world-leading watersports company, DSM is helping to repurpose material recovered from discarded fishing nets collected along the coastlines of India. The nets are treated and upcycled using local labor, before being compounded and turned into Akulon® RePurposed. The upcycled material is then used in the production of stand-up paddle (SUP) boards, providing the basis of structural parts, including fins, fin boxes and pumps.

Together, our companies are upcycling about 3,000 metric tonnes of disused fishing net plastic each year, supporting litter-free beaches and a healthier marine environment. At the same time, we are having a positive impact on coastal communities throughout India, driving job creation and helping local people to develop new skills such as collecting, sorting, cleaning and processing fishing nets. With an estimated 150 million tons of plastics currently circulating in the world’s waters, this innovative partnership may be a drop in the ocean in terms of DSM’s long-term marine sustainability objectives, but it’s an excellent start!