How Recycled Skateboards and Sunglasses Are Fighting The Pollution Problem

One man's trash is another man's treasure is such a great phrase, especially when one is trying to create something from the worldwide pollution problem. Pollution is out of control and according to TakePart, a new study finds that "99 percent of seabirds will carry plastic in their stomachs by 2050." Plastic is so dangerous and harmful for sea animals that people finding solutions to this problem is always heartwarming. This where three very smart American surfers decided to step in. They have actually recycled 20 tons of ocean plastic trash over the past year.

Bureo, a sustainable business built around diverting a substantial amount of plastic destined for the ocean, fishing nets, and recycling them into everyday objects like cruiser skateboards and sunglasses. Sebastián Díaz of Startup Chile said that Bureo is the kind of start-up his organization wants. “They are creating social impact and solving real problems,” he said. “They were just starting when they got to Santiago, but after hearing their pitch and seeing how strong the team is, we were convinced about the huge impact that they could do in Chile and around the world.”


In Chile there is no system in place to manage the disposal of old fishing nets, so much of the material is tossed into the ocean or left on the beach. Bureo sets up collection systems for the nets and commits funds to local nonprofits to finance infrastructure improvements in fishing communities. This company is saving lives in so many ways while being sustainable.

When the team has collected the nets, they are molded into fish-shaped skateboards Called the Minnow, the board is sold in surf shops from Tokyo and Sydney to Zurich and San Francisco. On the heels of the Minnow’s success, Bureo has partnered with a Chilean company, Karün, to create a line of sunglasses made from recycled fishing nets.

There is unfortunately a pretty limitless supply of thrown out nets and tossed away marine plastics for their products, but they are doing their part to make Chile better and cleaner place. We love companies trying to make the world a better place by sustainability and recycling, especially for charity!