Net-Works - Girl and nets

Net-Works is a collaboration between global carpet tile manufacturer Interface, Inc. and the Zoological Society of London (ZSL). It tackles the growing environmental problem of discarded fishing nets in some of the world’s poorest coastal communities.

Net-Works enables fishing communities in developing countries to sell waste fishing nets into a global supply chain; an opportunity that would otherwise be unavailable to them. Interface receives a fully recycled source of nylon for carpet tile production, and the local community receives an additional source of income and long-term incentives to protect their coasts and waters. 

Why we are there

Fishing nets are made from the same material that is used to make carpet yarn and can persist for centuries. The Danajon Bank is one of only six double-barrier reefs in the world, and discarded nets take a toll on the environment and marine life there. Fishing nets are also one of the most abundant sources of recyclable nylon in the world, however. The estimated length of nets discarded each year in this area, if laid out end to end, is 400 times the length of Danajon Bank, equivalent to 1.5 times the world’s circumference.

This project helps to ensure that end-of-life nets are no longer discarded in marine and freshwater ecosystems, but become an additional source of revenue for Philippine residents.

Key achievements and goals

The Net-Works team has established a supply chain for discarded fishing nets from artisanal fishing communities in developing countries in such a way that generates environmental and social benefits within these fishing communities.

Collection hubs have now been set up on the Danajon Bank and the nearby Bantayan Islands, in the central Philippines. The team are currently setting up a new collection hub in Northern Iloilo in the central Philippines, and another in the Lake Ossa region in Cameroon, Central Africa. The team is always scoping new locations and partners to help us grow the programme.

To date the project has collected 142 tonnes of nets, provided 1,500 families with access to financial services and the supply chain, and enabled 62,000 people to benefit from a healthier environment.

Project information

Discover updates from the field, photos, videos and blogs about this exciting project:

Visit the Net-Works website

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People involved

Dr. Nicholas Hill is the Conservation for Communities Technical Specialist.

Farinoz Daneshpay is the Net-Works Project Manager.

Surshti Patel is the Conservation for Communities Projects Co-ordinator.

Gildas Andriamala is the Conservation for Communities Social Marketing Officer.

Partners and sponsors

  • Interface, Inc.
  • Aquafil
  • Darwin Initiative
  • US Department of State, Regional Environmental Office
  • Ray C. Anderson Foundation
  • St. Andrews Prize for the Environment
  • Southern Partners and Fair Trade Center Inc., the Philippines
  • Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, the Philippines
  • Ministry of Forests and Wildlife Conservation Service, Cameroon