In 2016, a company specializing in the creation of functional and comfortable office products partnered with Bureo to decrease the ever-growing deluge of plastic in our oceans. More specifically, Humanscale plans to make a difference by manufacturing their new Smart Ocean task chair through Bureo’s “Net Positiva” program.
This recovery and recycling initiative facilitates the reuse of discarded fishing nets by breaking them down and transforming their plastic into nylon pellets. In order to do this, the plastic must first be cleaned and mechanically shredded. The resulting pellets are then used to create quality products like skateboards, sunglasses, and now, the Smart Ocean chair.
Bureo is working directly with fishermen across the coast of Chile to promote the collection and recycling of fishing nets. The Net Positivia program teaches these fishermen about the materials that go into fishing nets and the proper way to dispose of them. On top of that, the program also provides the locals with opportunities for employment and collects funds for their communities.
Fishing nets are considered to be one of the single most harmful pollutants out there, with some 640,000 tons of them being left in our oceans each and every year. The Bureo team claims to have already recovered more than 10 tons of discarded fishing net material.
At its core, the Smart Ocean task chair is a clever reinvention of Humanscale’s “Diffrient Smart” model. Smart Ocean offers the same timeless design and functionality as Diffrient Smart while adding a new “Form-Sensing Mesh Technology” to the mix. This material was designed to instantly adjust to and move with every individual user. Each chair is made using two pounds of recycled fishing net material and is Living Product certified, which means that it lives up to the most rigorous sustainable manufacturing standards around.
Humanscale’s partnership with Buero continues to yield innovative solutions for getting plastic out of our oceans. Both companies recognize the tremendous impact this issue has had on both human health and the health of the environment. The number of plastic objects being dumped into the ocean will surpass the number of fish in it by 2050 if we don’t make a change soon. Recycling and reprocessing those plastics keeps them from ever going into the water in the first place.
Humanscale is also a founding partner of the NextWave initiative. Spearheaded by Lonely Whale, this program hopes to successfully evolve into the world’s first international ocean-bound plastic supply chain. They give courageous ideas a platform by building useful products out of materials collected from river and coastal areas. NextWave is also supported by companies like Dell and GM.
While Humanscale continues to promote their eco-friendly Smart Ocean chair, they also encourage us to play a part in saving the oceans. They advise that we recycle or donate unwanted plastics, avoid the use of micro-beads, reduce our usage of disposable plastics, participate in cleanup projects, and spread the word on plastic’s negative impact. Together, we can keep plastics circulating in the global economy and out of the oceans.