With the aim to make the UK fishery more sustainable, Fishy Filaments takes used fishing nets and transforms them into 3D printer filament. The raw materials can normally be acquired at zero cost where fishers currently have to dispose of the nets, and there is potential for international expansion.
Based in Cornwall, Fishy Filaments aims to help make UK fishery more sustainable through better waste management and more efficient net recycling. We work closely with the Newlyn Harbourmaster and with the assistance of industry NGO, Fishing for Litter (SW).
After a year developing a proprietary process, we incorporated in July 2017 to take used fishing nets from the harbourside and transform them into 3D printer filament.
We aim to solve two issues in one:
Supply side: the UK fishing’s waste disposal issue is costly to both the industry and environment. When not recycled, fishers can pay £350/tonne or more to have old nets buried in landfill. Specialist fishing net recycling options are often overseas, subject to tariffs (if applicable) or admin charges and haulage costs.
Demand side: polymer-based 3D printing technologies are in a phase of rapid growth. Gartner (2016) project printer unit sales growth at a 121% CAGR through to 2019. Sales of over 500k units are expected in 2017. These machines often use first-life plastics as consumables, relying on the global petrochemical supply chain. By using recycled plastics, 3D printing can be more environmentally sustainable and efficient, using less material overall and shortening supply chains.
We’ve been shortlisted for the Plastics Industry Award for Best Recycled Product 2017, featured on BBC Radio and on global 3D printing websites.