Seeking to ensure that old nets, ropes and other derelict fishing gear (DFG) doesn’t just end up in landfills, the Aikaterini Laskaridis Foundation launched the Blue Cycle recycling initiative in 2019 and hopes to see it in full swing once the Covid restrictions are lifted.
“It starts by collecting the material, then processing it and making products out of it,” says Suzanna Laskaridis, the initiative’s founder and director.
“We want Blue Cycle to become a profitable business and to demonstrate the potential of recycled plastic from fishing equipment,” she adds, saying that these products include pellets that are sold to plastics manufacturers, thread for 3D printers and even larger objects like furniture.
Working with other groups like Aegean Rebreath, fish farms, fishing equipment manufacturers and individual fishermen, Blue Cycle has collected 260 tons of DFG since it started in 2019.
“Of that, some 10 tons has been recycled because we are working at just one-tenth of our potential as a result of the coronavirus,” says Laskaridis.