Kitamura Chemicals Co. Ltd. is aiming to develop and mass-produce resin raw material made from discarded fishing nets. In view of selling either the repelleted raw material or products molded from this in Japan and Thailand, the company plans to form a new business model that helps to both reduce environmental burden while also improving the areas where Thai fishermen ply their trade.
The new business model will see discarded fishing nets that have been recovered by Thai fishermen and divers sold to Kitamura Chemicals through the Environmental Justice Foundation, after which point the nets will be washed, crushed and repelletized by a local compound producer. The materials found in waste fishing nets include polyamide, high-density polyethylene and polypropylene.
With the difficulty involved in washing, drying, crushing and repelleting fishing nets, Kitamura Chemicals will be pursuing mass production here by working in tandem with a compound producer knowledgeable on such matters. The aim is to make environmentally friendly products from repelleted raw material, then see these products adopted by companies pursuing SDGs.
It is estimated that some 640,000 tons of fishing nets get discarded every year – making for a serious issue for marine life.