Fishing Gear Collection Reclaims PA, PET, HDPE Materials for Recycling

Companies helped collect plastic for recycling at Bellingham, Seattle, and Port Townsend.


A Seattle-area event was held May 9-10 to focus attention on the need for marine plastics to be captured by supply chains for recycling. Net Your Problem, a company that collects gear from fishers and supplies recyclers, collaborated with BASF, Grundens, and Trinamix to organize and staff the event.

Volunteers sit atop a pile of fishing gear.

Volunteers from BASF, Net Your Problem, Grundens and Trinamix participated in the event.
Photo Credit: BASF

Fishers from the surrounding area were invited to bring used gear including clothing, nets, and buoys to be collected for recycling. Volunteers from the participating companies collected, sorted, and identified the materials. Trinamix, a business unit of BASF, makes spectroscopy products including a hand-held analyzer, which were used to distinguish plastic made from different resins for sorting.

Scanning device on fishing net.

Trinamix scanners can distinguish resin types using spectroscopy in the field.
Photo Credit: BASF

Balers provided by Bramidan Group and Blankenship Equipment were used to compact the collected recyclables. Grundens, a manufacturer of fishing clothing and gear, uses Econyl, a recycled nylon, in its products, which is made from recycled fishing nets.

Fishing gear has been identified as a significant contributor of macroplastic waste in the ocean, which can interfere with wildlife and generate secondary microplastics as it degrades.