Renewable Matter # 2 / Numero #2

Net Gain: Fighting Ocean Pollution

Three American Entrepreneurs Fight Ocean Plastic Pollution by Upcycling Discarded Fishing Nets into Skateboards

by Nancy Averett

Ben Kneppers paused as he strolled around a music festival in Santiago, Chile. In front of him was a booth where local kids could repair damaged skateboards, making them ride-able again rather than throwing them away. Kneppers, an environmental consultant originally from Massachusetts, was impressed by the project. And as an avid boarder himself, he admired the kids gliding and kick-turning along a stretch of pavement with their refurbished boards.


Then he got an idea. He and two friends had been talking for months about finding a way to address the issue of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans by starting a business making products out of that trash. “I thought, ‘Wow, maybe skateboards could be our product’”, he says. “It would be a great tool...

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