A big little-known threat
FIVB, volleyball’s global governing body, is committed to support and champion healthy lifestyle choices with a focus on generations to come. Today, plastic pollution is putting at risk the future of our planet and our kids. Ghost nets are a big and little-known part of this problem. Every year, 640,000 metric tons of fishing nets are discarded or lost in the ocean, making up 10 percent of all oceanic litter. These ghost nets drift in the water for years catching and killing marine wildlife, including whales, dolphins, turtles and fish of all kinds. Yet few people know about it.
Making ghosts visible
To raise global awareness of the problem, while also contributing to the solution, we decided to make the invisible visible. Landor and FIVB teamed up with marine conservation group Ghost Fishing to create the Good Net project, a worldwide sustainable initiative to remove ghost nets from the oceans and turn them into volleyball nets. We call them Good Nets: the living voice of our initiative. These upcycled nets are placed on beaches for local community use around the world.
“The FIVB is committed to promoting global and sustainable change through sport,” said FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°. “The beach is our arena and it is the responsibility of all of us to protect our natural habitats. Working with Ghost Fishing and Landor, the Good Net project has allowed us to turn a negative situation into a positive, and we hope that these nets will encourage the next generation, not only to play volleyball but to think about and protect their environment while doing so.”
From ghost nets to Good Nets
Landor collaborated with local fishermen to upcycle the nets and embroider them with images of endangered sea creatures. The first-ever Good Nets have been installed on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—the birthplace of beach volleyball—to bring attention to the challenge facing our oceans, educate future generations and play volleyball, of course. All with the support of Olympians and world sporting champions who engaged people along the beaches using their social communities to spread the news.
“For volleyball players, nets are at the center of our game and of our joy. And we love the beach. So, for us it was really hard to learn that in the oceans there are so many nets that are doing so much harm out of sight,” commented Brazilian volleyball star Giba, ambassador of the Good Net project.
A first step, a giant leap
Just one month after the initiative was launched and Good Nets hit the beach, a huge impact was made with an estimated 58 million hits from prestigious media venues, including the BBC, Sky Sports, Eurosport, Daily Mail, New York Times, Globo, Olympic.org, France Inter, World Economic Forum, and SporTv.com.
Through the support of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Good Net has joined the UN Environment Clean Seas campaign in the fight against marine plastic pollution. “The key to advancing global sustainable development lies in collaboration,” said Julie Duffus, sustainability manager at the IOC. “We are thrilled that the FIVB has joined the Clean Seas initiative. Together, we can use the power of sport to help tackle pollution and make an active contribution to society and the environment. Ghost nets are among the greatest threats to our ocean’s biodiversity, and as part of their Good Net project, FIVB is championing innovative solutions to tackle this global issue.”