Making Carpet Tile from Old Fishing Nets

Net-Works is a partnership enabling local residents in developing countries to give discarded fishing nets a second life by collecting them for carpet tile production.

The Net-Works program enables fishing communities in developing countries to sell discarded fishing nets back into a global supply chain and provides a continuous source of recycled materials for use in carpet tile production. Local residents have so far collected more than 80 metric tons of discarded fishing nets for reuse that would otherwise damage the oceans. The project follows Interface’s strategy to turn waste into a raw material and, in turn, establish a community-based supply chain and create local jobs.

Net-Works is the latest element supporting Interface’s Mission Zero goal to source 100% recycled material for its carpet tile by 2020. By 2014, Interface sourced 50% of its raw materials from recycled or bio-based materials.

Relevance of solution

Abandoned, lost, or discarded fishing gear in the oceans makes up around 10% of all marine litter.1 Abandoned fishing nets are the main cause of ghost fishing, where nets lost or no longer in use wreck reefs and trap and entangle big and small fish. By collecting the discarded nets, the partnership protects the natural environments while providing jobs for local residents.

Triple Bottom Line


The project enables local participants to take an active ownership role in re-establishing the balance of their natural environment.


The solution gives economic opportunity to local villagers who have earned supplemental income equal to 230,552 additional meals, according to the organization.


The solution turns waste into a future raw material for businesses, reducing production costs while creating jobs and economic growth in the fishing communities.


  1. FAO & UNEP. “Abandoned, Lost Or Otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear.” (2009)