TAMPA, Fla. - We live, work, and play on the waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, but the items people leave behind are dangerous for marine life.
A group called Planet Love Life has a solution for the problem of nets left behind by anglers.
Now, thousands of people across the world are wearing the result of their hard work.
Planet Love Life co-founders Melody and Rob Webster saw the problem, but they also saw potential in the sturdy, colorful material used to make fishing nets.
Unfortunately, discarded netting is easy to come by. Just walk the beach and you could come across a tangle of teal, yellow, red, pink, and orange fibers woven to capture marine life.
“We repurpose it. We turn it into awareness-type products we can carry around, like bracelets,” explained Rob. “And we name them after different marine animals in order to, like I said, raise awareness of the fact that this is an issue for these animals in the ocean.”
They’ve gathered nets from the Florida Keys to Hawaii to the Sea of Cortez.
From the nets, they create bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings.
“[The netting] makes the bracelets that much more interesting to look at, with all of the different, beautiful colors. But at the same time, it’s kind of sad when there’s that much of it out there,” Melody said, looking at the bangles on her wrist.
“Colorful, but deadly, is what I like to say,” Rob added. “I would love for each person who has one of these bracelets to think about their connection with the ocean, with the planet, and with the animal they’ve chosen to represent.”
For more about Planet Love Life and their products, visit https://www.planetlovelife.com/.