Ghost nets reused for soccer goal posts in Spain

By Carlos Alberto Fernandez

La Coruña, Spain, Apr 28 (EFE).- One hundred kilos of marine waste have been used to create new goalie nets for the Real Betis stadium in southern Spain.

The new nets traveled 900 kilometers from Galicia in northwestern Spain, where they were created, to the Andalusian capital in Seville.

“In two and a half years we have collected and restored 8 tons of marine waste by hand,” Carlos Martínez, an international basketball player from Coruña, tells Efe.

Martínez launched Ecoballution in December 2020 “to recycle and clean up the sea by turning waste into valuable sports products.”

The Villamarín project, in collaboration with Finetwork and LaLiga, has reduced CO2 emissions by 166.37 kilograms.

His company, which has also collaborated with the NBA, Foot Locker and Endesa, sells its approved nets for basketball hoops in 80 Decathlon stores in Spain.

Ecoballution nets can also be spotted in basketball courts in the streets of Italy, Switzerland and Denmark.

Also based in Coruña, the Cholita brand makes bags made with recycled nets.

Cholita is committed to giving a “new lease of life to ghost nets, cleaning seas and consciences.”

Both Ecoballution and Cholita work with the Galician ‘redeiras’, a network of women who stitch fishing nets.

Rosa Rodríguez, president of the Redieras Association of Illa da Estrela, tells EFE that her main job is to make fishing tackle and gear, but in 2012 they diversified the business and started recycling nets that had been disposed of.

She says that Martínez’s project came to them at a time when their workload was dwindling. Since then, they have made over 3,000 basket hoop nets for Ecoballution.

It takes about six hours to create the nets.

“The most time-consuming part is picking out the net, giving it a wash and cutting it,” she explains.

Not all the materials make for good sports nets and they now know that Nylon works best.

Celta, Deportivo and Lugo received fifteen sets of nets in 2022 (for 30 goals) from the ‘Redes Vivas’ project, launched in 2021 by the Abanca bank.

The ‘redeiras’ from Malpica and those from Corme, both in Coruña, wove the nets used at the training fields of the three Galician soccer clubs. EFE


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