The New England-based skate company Bureo is helping clean the ocean one fishnet at a time by turning recycled nets into skateboards.
A monumental task incapable of ever achieving a stamp of “finished,” cleaning the ocean requires an ongoing effort from conservationists, entrepreneurs, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to remaining environmentally conscious. One such entity leading its own charge is a small New England-based skateboard manufacturer named Bureo. Intent on making a dent in the ongoing fight to reduce contaminants routinely found in Earth’s oceans, Bureo decided to turn salvaged fishnets into skateboards.
In business since 2010, it wasn’t until Red Bull caught wind of Bureo that the forward-thinking company had the ability to shine a proper light on its environment-positive skateboard venture. Over the course of six months near the end of 2015, the two brands collaborated on a project which highlighted small businesses making big impacts both socially and environmentally. Bureo co-founder David Stover told GrindTV that the Red Bull partnership helps “showcase a unique intersection of the action sports industry, balancing the way we make products and the growing need to protect our planet.”
“Since the Red Bull filming, we have been focused on growing our recycling operations and expanding our collection footprint,” Stover continued. “In addition to [an] ongoing production with Carver, we have been working on a longer term development project with Patagonia to expand our recycling capabilities.”
After setting up its recycling program called Net Positiva in Chile, Bureo used what fishing nets it could amass in the manufacturing of its skate decks. After washing the collected nets, the brand runs them through a mechanical recycling process which shreds and feeds the nets through a machine capable of melting them and transforming them into pellets. Bureo then injects the pellets into its steel molds to actually craft the skateboards.
In the years since it’s operated, Bureo also collaborated with Carver Skateboards to bring its fishnet recycling process to a larger skateboard brand. For this exclusive partnership, the two companies made the trip to Chile to see Net Positiva in action, physically diving and retrieving nets themselves.