The Japan News by The Yomiuri Shimbun
Discarded fishing nets turned into fashion to reduce plastic waste
Discarded shing nets are being collected and reused to make clothing, sneakers and other items. Manufacturers, shermen and vocational schools are involved in the project.
Fishing nets made of nylon and polyester dri in the ocean when they are discarded or le unattended a er becoming old.
ere is concern that marine organisms may become entangled and unable to move, and
sh and other animals may ingest pieces that have disintegrated.
Fishing nets, ropes and other marine-industry related debris accounted for more than 30% of waste found at six out of 10 coastal sites across Japan surveyed by the Environment Ministry in scal 2019. Hakodate, Hokkaido, had the highest percentage of such debris at 94%, and in Hakui, Ishikawa Prefecture, the percentage reached 79%.
Teijin Ltd., a major ber manufacturer, has been promoting recycling of discarded
shing nets since last year in cooperation with four companies that include manufacturers of shing nets and plastics.
According to Teijin, polyester shing nets have a ve- to seven-year lifespan, and 20 to 30 tons are collected per month from around the country.
e companies are attempting to share the work of recycling shing nets by washing them at nearby shing cooperatives and processing them into raw materials for recycled plastic products. e rst product available commercially is a tray for serving food, used by a chain of Japanese-style pubs.
e French sneaker brand
Patrick has also launched a new product using recycled materials. Forty percent of the material to produce its Uminokutsu sneaker are from recycled items such as discarded
e rm manufactures two types of sneakers, designed in cooperation with two shermen from Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, and Soma, Fukushima Prefecture. e brand focuses on comfort so shermen can relax a er
returning from the sea.
“We hope that people will pick up a pair and feel the story behind the product, which was created with feedback from the
shermen,” said Kenji Takehara, 42, who was in charge of product development.
In Tokyo’s Shibuya district, a clothing competition was held on Sept. 1 which featured items that were made of at least 60% recycled shing nets. e contest was held by the Educational Foundation Bunka Gakuen and other organizations in an industry-academia collaboration. About 30 items were presented by students from vocational schools, including
dresses and hoodies.
Aya Takada, a second-year student at Bunka Fashion College, won the grand prize for her wedding dress. “I created this dress with the hope that sustainability will become more prevalent in the world,” she said.
e recycled materials for the contest were provided by Globeride, Inc., a Tokyo-based company that is a major supplier of shing tackle and other products.
“We hope that students who will lead the industry in the future will think about the SDGs through our e orts,” said Teruhisa Uchiumi, 49, an o cial of Globeride. (Nov. 6)