Waste Management

Volunteers with results of one cleanup of Cape Arnhem after it has been taken to the local dump near Nhulunbuy. Photo Sam Muller.

Waste Management

Our objective has always been to have an ocean free from ghost nets, but in the meantime we are left with the very real issue of what to do with the tonnes of net that wash ashore.

The disposal of rubbish in remote areas in Australia is extremely challenging, so the safe and environmentally sound disposal of tonnes of plastic net material is virtually impossible. In most instances ghost nets are bunt in situ or taken to local landfill where they are eventually buried. Environmentally neither is a good option, so we’ve been working hard to investigate others.

Given the nets are primarily plastic, we have explored many plastic recycling options including:

  • supplying the nets as feedstock for the boilers in concrete factories,
  • turning nets into carpets,
  • creating composite plastic products (such as fence posts), and
  • even returning the plastic into a type of diesel fuel.

Unfortunately none of these options are viable given the high transport costs to get the nets to centres in the south. Nor is buidling recycling centres in the north a viable option as the low population inthis remote part of Australia does not make such factories viable.

We now focus our efforts on re-using the nets as art (Ghost Net Art Project). To learn how we explored this option click on the thumbnails below.

Design for a Sea Change

Some innovative designs have left us bowled over.

Learn more

Itís in the Bag

Chantal Cordey conducted ghost net workshops at Yirrkala and Hammond Is.

Learn more

The Art of Recycling

A scoping study led to ghost net art being displayed in galleries.

Learn more