WWF Australia Project Removing & Upcycling Deadly Gill Nets

A commercial gill net bought by WWF-Australia and its supporters so it could be pulled from the water is being made into sunglasses! And if this trial project goes well, they’ll make it an ongoing circular economy initiative!

A commercial gill net bought by WWF-Australia and its supporters so it could be pulled from the water is being made into sunglasses! And if this trial project goes well, they’ll make it an ongoing circular economy initiative!

The move will save the lives of countless marine creatures, with an estimated 98,228 sharks, dolphins, turtles, dugongs and sawfish being caught by commercial gill nets on the Great Barrier Reef, where the net was removed from, each year.

And turning the net into sunnies means it is recycled into something useful!

This has been done in collaboration with VisionDirect and Arise Collective, and the result is ReefCycle sunglasses, sustainable sunglasses that can be fitted with polarised or non-polarised, prescription or non-prescription lenses.

The net has been shredded and melted into pellets, which were then injected into a mould to make the sunglasses.

50% of the proceeds from the sale of the sunglasses goes back to WWF to continue its conservation work like advocacy for a Net-Free North. The Net-Free North campaign aims to ban lethal commercial gill nets from operating in the northern Great Barrier Reef, in Far North Queensland, which one of the world’s largest dugong havens, with 4500 dugongs calling the region home.

And if the target of selling 1000 sunglasses is reached, more nets will be removed from the ocean to be turned into more sunglasses. This first run is a trial to ascertain whether it will be possible to continue recycling plastics/nets into something useful and create a circular economy from this unwanted material.

They can be ordered from WWF-Australia's website here.

Vicky EllmoreComment