the Ecospot Eco Gift Guide 2016 – day 15 – Bureo Minnow skateboard…

Despite how old we are, we are all just kids at heart. And that is exactly how it should be. Picasso got it right when he said that ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up’. Being childish is frowned upon by many, but in fact, being child-like is something that should be celebrated and encouraged. And what better way to encourage someone’s inner child than to get them a skateboard – and not just any skateboard, but one that cleans up the oceans of abandoned fishing netting? Day 15 of our Eco Gift Guide and we have the Bureo Minnow Skateboard…

As regular readers of The Ecospot will know, our own passion and research area is around marine litter – plastic based products that have no place floating (or sinking) in our oceans, causing toxicity, entanglement, ingestion and death for over 100,000 mammals and 1 million seabirds annually.

There are different sectors to the marine litter sphere – one being ALDFG, or ‘Abandoned, Lost or Discarded Fishing Gear’, which encompasses everything from nets to traps. If left in the oceans, these nets carry on fishing, hence their other name of ‘ghost gear’. But, people are realising not only the issues with ghost gear, but the opportunities too. This is a material that can be harvested – and reused if you think laterally. 

This is exactly what the fabulous Bureo products are made from – recovered nylon 6 fishing nets from Chile, that are de-polymerised and re-polymerised into plastic nurdles that can then be injection moulded into new things. From skateboards to sunglasses, Bureo makes stuff from old nets. I was rather taken with the sunglasses too whilst at the recent Global Ghost Gear Initiative conference…

At the time of writing, Bureo has recovered and reused 155,040 square feet of fishing net, with each skateboard utilising 30 square feet of netting alone – the very first marine litter skateboard.

Paired with wheels made from vegetable oil, solid trucks and ABEC 7 bearings, this little cruiser board is not only a really well considered, sustainable skateboard, it is VERY fast and great fun. We know. We have one in the studio (for research purposes. Honest. ahem.)

So – if you know someone who loves our oceans too, or needs their inner child re-kindling, then get them a Bureo Minnow Skateboard. They will be the first to suggest ‘a walk’ on Christmas Day, but they certainly won’t be walking. For the Oceans!

*** PS – they are also currently on sale at Surfdome in the UK – from £87.99 – £124.99! ***

(all images via Surfdome)

We’ve been at the Global Ghost Gear Initiative AGM…

That’s right folks – we’ve been away. Apologies for the radio silence these last couple of weeks, but things were rather hectic here at the studio, including a rather lovely trip from Brighton to Miami for the third Global Ghost Gear Initiative AGM. Coming together with people from all over the world, we were there as representatives of the World Cetacean Alliance, speaking about the different outreach projects we completed in 2016 based around marine litter.

Ghost gear is the term given to abandoned, discarded or otherwise lost fishing gear, which causes continued entrapment, entanglement and ingestion issues of all species. As modern fishing gear is plastic based, it does not degrade, so continues to fish for decades… The GGGI brings together the vast amount and variety of people needed to find solutions to these issues – from industry, fishers and policy makers to recyclers, NGO’s and manufacturers.

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Arriving in Coconut Grove, Miami, Day one of the GGGI AGM started with a series of inspiring presentations from World Animal Protection (the current Secretariat) and break out sessions with each of the three working groups – Building Evidence, Best Practice and Replicating Solutions.

Due to the studio’s work, and activities with WCA, I sat into the review from the Replicating Solutions Group who reported a series of brilliant projects from around the globe, concentrating on ghost gear removal and recycling. There was much discussion about what worked well and how activities could be improved and scaled up.

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After lunch, we sat back in our working groups, where I was officially adopted into the Replicating Solutions group – the largest (and loudest) group of the three. Figures. We then started to plan out our voyage for 2016-2017, coming up with some rather audacious goals for new projects, scaled up projects, new activities and new forms of communication. Day one finished and we were exhausted…

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the 2016 GGGI delegation!

Day Two dawned hot and bright on the Miami coast and we started the final sessions reporting back to the other working groups about our plans – and starting to link the dots between the activities that both Building Evidence and Best Practice were planning. Things took shape. Comments were made, plans were set.

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One of the last sessions was the Lightning Talks – a set of ten 5 minute talks from different members of the GGGI community. From gear recovery projects to working with developing countries, the logistics of gathering and storing ghost gear picked up at sea and what needs to be considered when transporting it for recycling – each person whizzed through their 5 minutes.

I was delighted to be reporting with Natalie Barefoot from CetLaw about the work we had both undertaken with WCA over the past year – from the interns who travelled to work with whale watching groups to educate visitors on the issues with ghost gear to the Ghost Gear Chandelier we made earlier in 2016 and exhibited at the Clerkenwell Design Week in May. The link-up between WCA and the Brighton Etsy group was also presented, along with the wonderful Lulu by Designosaur – one of my most treasured pieces of jewellery.

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It was also great to see the range of products that are currently made from recovered ghost gear – either in an unprocessed form, or as a raw material in a mini pop-up exhibition. From Econyl based recycled nylon swimwear to door mats, bracelets and of course, Bureo, who were showing their skateboards and sunglasses. I was rather taken with their Yuco glasses…

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A final sum up and we were done. It was great to be invited to be part of such a great group of pro-active people and we cannot wait to get going with the work we have got as part of our WCA / GGGI Replicating Solutions working group activities…

As always – watch this space!

(images by Claire Potter)