Bureo is on a mission. Amid a global ocean pollution crisis, they do crucial work: upcycling discarded fishing nets and converting them into a premium, 100% traceable nylon 6 material (a widely used synthetic polymer prized for its toughness).
Bureo calls this material NetPlus and supplies it to major brands in an effort to end the most harmful form of plastic pollution in our oceans while reducing the reliance on virgin plastic.
Bureo recently announced it has closed a Series B investment in its latest funding round. The round was led by Toyota Tsusho Corporation and supported by Mirova, Ocean 14 Capital, Conservation International Ventures and others. Tin Shed Ventures—Patagonia’s venture capital fund—was the initial seed investor in Bureo.
Bureo’s work to end fishing net pollution is driven by its ability to empower both the fishing communities and the consumer goods industry to embed net-positive solutions into current practices. This is achieved by first working directly with the fishing communities to provide the resources, training and incentives needed to responsibly dispose of their fishing nets when they are no longer of use.
Secondly, through recent advancements in Bureo’s recycling process, the company is now able to produce a recycled nylon 6 that rivals virgin nylon 6 in durability and quality yet offers a big reduction in environmental impact.
“We feel a responsibility to bring our solution and positive impacts to more coastal communities around the world—and we are thankful for the increased recognition and resources to expand our work,” says Bureo co-founder David Stover. “The ongoing movement to support alternative feedstocks will continue to allow us to turn a problem for our ocean into a solution for the new climate-conscious economy.”
These recent investments will fund the growth of Bureo’s net collection and recycling operation to a growing list of global coastal communities. Bureo collected more than 3.3 million pounds of end-of-life fishing nets in 2023 for recycling through actively operating in seven countries across the Americas (United States, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Argentina).
Increased funding will also go towards an advanced traceability system that will deliver fishing net source information through QR codes that can be tracked throughout the supply chain of NetPlus material. This system will not only identify NetPlus material in the supply chain but to enable end-of-life recycling of the material at the end of the useful product life—a function Bureo believes will become an industry standard for recycled materials.
“After many discussions with Bureo, we found ourselves very much aligned with their efforts around the environment and community and are proud to have led this round of funding,” notes Kumiko Tambara, general manager of Toyota Tsusho Corporation. “Discarded fish nets are a major source of pollution not only in Japan, but globally…. We are thrilled to be expanding the sale of NetPlus material to apparel manufacturers and other industrial applications moving forward.”
As Bureo celebrates its 10th anniversary, it is also on track to represent 1 per cent of the recycled Nylon fabric market globally, having collected more than 10 million pounds of discarded fishing nets for recycling to date. Companies currently using NetPlus recycled nylon in their products include Patagonia, Costa, Yeti, Brixton, Rivian, Outerknown, Trek, Quicksilver, Orvis, Futures Fins and more.
You might also like:
Check the ML Podcast!