NewsUCA Farnham

Saving the oceans through creativity and innovation

The Centre for Sustainable Design has announced it will be working on a €1.5 million project to tackle marine pollution involving the creative upcycling of discarded fishing nets.

Lending its expertise in sustainability and innovation to the new European project, The Centre for Sustainable Design will work with project partners across Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Greenland and Norway to find new ways of using discarded fishing nets and ropes, and the approximated 8 million tonnes of plastic litter that enters the sea each year.

The project will allow anyone to access and share practical and innovative ideas about reusing plastic, via an online open-access network. Drawing on its experience working with organisations to develop new creative solutions to sustainability challenges, The Centre for Sustainable Design will also organise an innovation competition to encourage creative ideas for reusing discarded fishing nets. The Centre for Sustainable Design will be compiling an eco-innovation toolkit to support the project partners and members of the public on eco-innovation, and providing remote research, consultancy and mentoring for those interested in learning more.

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Project lead Dr Neil James of the Environmental Research Institute said: “Virtually all plastic ever produced is still with us today, with more entering the seas each year to the detriment of fish, birds, turtles and marine mammals. If we use this so-called waste material for a new purpose we reduce the amount of new plastic created, reduce marine pollution, and encourage new green enterprises. Our aim in Circular Ocean is to facilitate this in the northern Europe and Arctic region.”

You can find more information about the Circular Oceans project at, and more information on The Centre for Sustainable Design at