Circular economy: First shipment of fishing nets sent from Seychelles to Europe for recycling
A newly established circular business in Seychelles, Brikole, on Wednesday sent out its first shipment of exhausted fishing nets to Europe for recycling, removing 50 tonnes of material from the Seychelles Fishing Authority’s (SFA) net yard.
For many years, the yard, located at Ile Du Port Zone 14, had become the final destination of the abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear.
Brikole, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year with OPAGAC – the Spanish Organisation of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers – and Orthongel – the French organisation of frozen and deep-frozen tuna producers – is now allowed to obtain the abandoned fishing gear and ship them to vetted recycling facilities outside of the island nation.
Brikole is a company established to provide a sustainable and long-term solution for exhausted fishing gear generated by the industrial tuna fishing industry. Its hree founding partners are Francesca Adrienne, Rosetta Alcindor and Kyle de Bouter.
Adrienne told the press that the idea is to start off by shipping the nets to overseas recyclers “as for now Seychelles does not have such a facility yet.”
“Maybe in one to two years, we will be able to establish our own recycling facility in Seychelles. By introducing recycling in Seychelles, we do not want to focus only on nets. Nets will only be a start and once we know the ins and outs, we will then move to every day plastic. We will be able to see the different types of plastics being brought to Seychelles and how we can reuse and recycle them,” said Adrienne.
She added that the aim is to positively impact the world by further reducing the carbon footprint of Seychelles, despite the fact that it is a small country.
De Bouter explained that the export of the nets, which is made of nylon, means that they can now be recycled rather than only being repurposed. Through repurposing, such materials can be used to make bags, hammocks or even used in aquaculture.
“There are different ways to recycle these plastics. One is mechanical recycling, where the nets are chopped up in very fine bits and then heated up and then turned into nylon pellets. This is the big idea that we have for Seychelles. The second type is a very energy intensive process called chemical recycling. After undertaking this process, the plastic recycled becomes new,” said de Bouter.
He added that the shipment is just the start of the establishment of a recycling company in Seychelles, where the grand plan is to maintain the resources in the country.
Talking about the benefits of such a venture, Alcindor said that “through the establishment of this industry in Seychelles, we will be able to create jobs and create awareness about the fact that plastic is a resource and not necessarily just waste.”
Brikole will work in partnership with different NGOs as there is a possibility to repurpose these nets.
“We want to work with schools so that they can install creativity through the use of plastics as a material for the creation of new things. We can also work with artisans as well,” said Alcindor.