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Recycling ghost nets

May 13th, 2019 / By: / EcoNote

Video: Daphne Matziaraki 

Art, marine plastic recycling and 3D printing have come together in a new initiative. The Second Nature project aims to create awareness about the damage to marine wildlife caused by abandoned fishing nets, a recent release says. The New Raw design studio began the project by working with Greek fishermen and divers to collect discarded synthetic fishing nets, known as ghost nets. These nets remain on the seabed for years, trapping fish, mammals and other sea creatures. 

To create symbols of marine beauty and cleanliness, Second Nature is transforming ghost nets into a series of digitally crafted seashells and other objects via 3D printing. The designers classify the ghost nets according to material type: nets, ropes, floaters and weights. The nets, made of polyethylene, polypropylene and nylon components, are processed in a grinder and extruded into colorful textured filaments for 3D printing. The resulting sculptural objects serve as reminders of people’s dependence on the ocean for food and oxygen.  

Second Nature is an ongoing research project supported by MEDASSET, Healthy Seas, Ghost Fishing and the Rotterdam Natural History Museum. A new collection of objects will be released in summer 2019. Ongoing research, design and production will continue to support new circular economy concepts, improve the environment, boost local economies and create value through the recycling process, the release says. 

The New Raw works towards closing material cycles and strengthening local production using an open and scale-less approach that is based on material research, digital design and fabrication.