A British entrepreneur is taking plastic pollution from the ocean and recycling it into engineering-grade materials for additive manufacturing (AM) applications.
The 0rCA line from Fishy Filaments Ltd., Cornwall, England, is a family of materials in filament, pellet and micro pellet form, with a common core of recycled nylon 6 (PA6) from commercial fishing nets. It’s being developed as a co-recyclable suite engineered for use in multimaterial AM.
Founder Ian Falconer established the company in 2017 to fight climate change. The focus is now on cleaning up oceans and mitigating the effects of “ghost fishing,” when abandoned fishing gear—lines, nets, pots, traps, floats and other equipment—can continue to trap and kill fish, crustaceans, marine mammals, turtles and seabirds. Such practices contribute 20-30% of ocean plastics, according to ourworldindata.org.
“The specific net type we recycle using our proprietary hardware is called nylon monofilament, or if you are a Cornish fisherman ‘mono,’” Falconer said.
“The plastics industry knows that it sells 150,000 to 200,000 metric tons a year into the commercial fishing industry globally, and by our estimate somewhere under 10% of that currently gets recycled.”
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