A newly created circular company in Seychelles, Brikole, sent its first shipment of spent fishing nets to Europe on Wednesday for recycling, removing 50 tonnes of material from the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) net yard.
For many years, the yard, located at Ile Du Port Area 14, had become the final destination for derelict, lost or otherwise abandoned fishing gear.
Brikole, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding earlier this year with OPAGAC – the Spanish organization of associated producers of large tuna freezers – and Orthongel – the French organization of frozen tuna producers and frozen – is now allowed to obtain abandoned fishing gear and ship it to approved recycling facilities outside the island nation.
Brikole is a company created to provide a sustainable, long-term solution to spent fishing gear generated by the tuna fishing industry. Its three founding partners are Francesca Adrienne, Rosetta Alcindor and Kyle de Bouter.
Adrienne told the press that the idea is to start by shipping the nets to foreign recyclers “because at the moment Seychelles does not yet have such a facility”.
“Perhaps in one to two years we will be able to establish our own recycling facility in Seychelles. In introducing recycling in Seychelles, we don’t want to focus only on mosquito nets. Mosquito nets will only be a start and once we know the ins and outs we will then move on to everyday plastics and we will be able to see the different types of plastics brought to Seychelles and how we can reuse and recycle them,” said Adrienne.
She added that the aim is to have a positive impact on the world by further reducing Seychelles’ carbon footprint, despite being a small country.
De Bouter explained that exporting the nets, which are made of nylon, means they can now be recycled rather than simply reused. Through reuse, these materials can be used to make bags, hammocks or even be used in aquaculture.
“There are different ways to recycle these plastics. One is mechanical recycling, where the nets are cut into very fine pieces, then heated and then turned into nylon pellets. This is the big idea we have for Seychelles. The second type is an energy-intensive process called chemical recycling.After undertaking this process, the recycled plastic becomes new,” said de Bouter.
He added that the expedition is just the start of building a recycling business in Seychelles, where the big plan is to sustain the country’s resources.
Talking about the benefits of such a venture, Alcindor said that “through the creation of this industry in Seychelles, we will be able to create jobs and raise awareness that plastic is a resource and not necessarily waste”.
Brikole will work in partnership with various NGOs because it is possible to reuse these nets.
“We want to work with schools so that they can install creativity through the use of plastic as a material for the creation of new things. We can also work with artisans,” said Alcindor.