Fishing gear is a major contributor to the problem of ocean plastic. While the Florida Keys economy is heavily reliant on fishing, the plastic-based equipment used has a negative impact on the environment. Net Your Problem is a company working to solve this growing issue.
The company’s mission is to create an economically viable way to recycle end-of-life fishing gear, improve waste management, contribute to the circular economy and reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions related to virgin plastic production. To do this, the company engages a variety of stakeholders and partners including Florida Keys fishermen.
The recycling process involves acquiring end-of-life fishing gear, testing and analyzing it to figure out what types of plastic each contains, then selling each type to the appropriate buyer. Buyers then clean and upcycle the old gear into new plastic products or process it into certain types of energy. By charging a fee for recycling, Net Your Problem is able to cover all the costs of collecting, sorting, and shipping the old fishing gear, with the fishermen paying only for the recycling fee.
Recycling fishing gear has the potential to replace what fishing houses already pay to waste management companies, turning the problem of ocean plastic into a manufacturing solution.