In 2010, three surfing friends came up with a brilliant idea that's both good for the earth and good for fishing: recycling fishing nets to make skateboards.
For Americans David Stover, Ben Kneppers and Kevin Ahearn, they spent their teenage years on surfboards on the Pacific coast, and protecting the ocean is a top priority for them. In 2010, sustainability consultant Ben, mechanical engineer David and designer Kevin came up with the idea of a circular economy project: to create an ocean of skateboarding by recycling some of the many abandoned fishing nets. The California Coastal Conservation Association estimates that 10% of global ocean pollution is caused by the loss of 64,000 tons of nets in the ocean, which is a huge problem.
This is a huge problem caused by the loss of 64,000 tons of nets in the ocean.
Three years later, the Chilean trio are invited by Chile to Cocholgue, a fishing village in the middle of the country, and develop their activity there - they call it Bureo ("waves" in Mapuche, originally from Chile). Chile has a coastline of 4,270 kilometers and is the seventh largest fishing area in the world. The ocean is an important source of income for the local economy. Chile's coastline is also home to one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world, and this ecosystem clearly needs to be protected.
Bureo 's idea is to promote the short-circuit recycling of discarded fishing nets, thus protecting the country's marine fauna and flora. The young company set up the Net Positiva program, which has 20 fishing net collection points across the country.
3 m2 of netting for a skateboard
Since its creation, the company has collected 80 tons of fishing nets. The fillet is cleaned, shredded, then placed in a pelletizer. The pelletizer produces small balls which are then pressed into a steel mold in Santiago, Chile. 3 square meters of mosquito net are needed to make the skateboard. Compared to the production of traditional skateboards, this method reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 70%. The wheels use 30% vegetable oil and have a 100% recycling mechanism. After the final confirmation, the price of the long fish-shaped plate with colorful scales is between $130 and $200. The company's motto is "from the sea to the streets" and the company is now located in Santiago, Chile and Ventura, California.
Today, Bureo is looking further afield. Ben, David and Kevin decided to expand the production line and also produce surfboard fins made from recycled fishing nets. In addition, they recently signed an agreement with the famous brand Carver to produce their sustainable skateboards on a larger scale. As David Stover explains, that's a good thing: "Currently we have a lot of fishing nets and we don't know how to manage them all. If the raw material runs out, we will have achieved our goal."