South Korean waste management company SK Ecoplant recently announced a strategic cooperative arrangement with Netspa, a pioneering startup based in Busan specializing in recycling discarded fishing nets. The partnership aims to address the issue of discarded fishing nets in Vietnam and turn them into a resource for recycled nylon production.
The two companies have signed an agreement to launch a joint venture by the end of the year. Their focus will primarily be on Southeast Asia, with particular attention to regions with intensive fishing activities, such as Vietnam’s central and southern shores.
Their cooperative arrangement intends to revitalize marine ecosystems by collecting discarded fishing nets and transforming them into nylon products, using an innovative resource circulation model. They have ambitious plans to achieve an annual production capacity of 8,000 tonnes of recycled nylon by the second half of next year. The eco-friendly initiative also aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50,000 tonnes annually and to create over 1,000 employment opportunities.
Industry experts view the partnership as a transformative example of synergy between established corporations and agile startups. Their combined efforts are expected to reshape the environmental and socio-economic landscape in emerging markets, especially in Southeast Asia.
The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has recognized the project’s potential and included it in its prestigious Platform ESG initiative. Starting next year, KOICA will provide half of the project’s budget, amounting to approximately $3.7 million over a five-year period.