Circular economy vs. Ghost Gear - An Earth Action in Taiwan

How many tons of fishing waste/gear enter the ocean each year? Between 500,000 and 1 million tons! These 'Ghost Gears' are 10% of the annual volume of marine litter.*  

Ghost gear, mostly discarded fishing nets, is made from synthetic fibers such as polyethylene, nylon, polyester, and polypropylene. They are very durable and undecomposed. Moreover, ghost gear damages precious marine habitats/species and threatens the livelihoods/navigation of the boat.

Compared to several materials for producing fishing nets, nylon has a complete recycling chain. Plus, with the latest technologies of Chemical Recycling, 'recycled nylon fibers' material properties and performance parameters are very little different from the brand-new nylon.

Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corporation (FCFC) is one of the three companies* worldwide currently possessing the updating technology of Chemical Recycling of Nylon. At the end of 2022, FCFC will have the world's largest Chemical Recycling of Nylon Center for discarded fishing nets. FCFC also cooperates with King Chou Marine Technology, the world's second-largest fishing net manufacturer. They get together fishermen, the associations of fisher, and local governments to establish a complete discarded fishing net recycling channel. Then FCFC uses chemical recycling processes to turn regenerated nylon into high-tech fabrics and clothing. Besides converting ghost gear into outdoor clothing and other functional textile materials also creates a circular economy model of production, use, recycling, and reuse.

On June 5, World Environment Day, with the 'Only One Earth' theme, highlighted three major environmental crises: climate change, biodiversity loss, and plastic pollution. Nowadays, abandoned fishing nets are highly harmful to marine ecology. Yet, in Taiwan, fishers, the association of fishermen, fishing net manufacturers, nylon producers, and the government are acting together for the planet. So, what's your Earth Action? Let's act!

*’Ghost Gear Legislation Analysis’ reported by GGGI, WWF, and Ocean Outcomes

* 3 companies:  FCFC (Taiwan); Aqufil (Italy); Hyosung (South Korea)

If you would like to discover more:

1."World Environment Day" - ONLY ONE EARTH

2."Global Ghost Gear Initiative"

Read the letter also in:

Chinese (TW)

Ellisa Yang


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