BLAU ORGASMIC by Ioana Crasovan
ISSUE TO ADDRESS
Ghost nets are fishing nets set adrift by commercial vessels when they get ripped, lost or simply abandoned. Each year kilometers of nets increase the quantity of plastic waste turning these problem into one of the main current threats to our oceans. It is estimated that, only in Catalonia, 20 tonnes of ghost nets got thrown into the sea during 2015.
Ghost nets have become a plague that, without any supervision, continuously catches fishes, marine mammals, turtles, birds and crustaceans that suffocate and die in which has been called ‘Ghost Fishing’. Marine flora, the basis of the aquatic life cycle, is also being damaged and altered by ghost nets, which is leading to the destruction of entire ecosystems.
L’Agència Catalana de Residus proposes a challenge to our students: Design a system that encourages fishermen to bring their nets back to port and makes other social actors get involved creating an impact that goes beyond the environmental realm.
Blau Orgasmic is a project made in collaboration with La Festival, a cellar located near IED Barcelona that sells only Catalan organic wines. She decided to work with La Festival because they incentivise sustainability selling their wines in reusable glass bottles with the slogan Organic & Orgasmic that the clients take with them to refill each time they buy a new wine.
Blau Orgasmic is a special edition of La Festival reusable bottles with a tap and a bag made of discarded fishing nets that brought back to port by the fishermen of Barcelona. Blau Orgasmic substitutes the plastic of the bottle taps and grocery bags and makes two elements traditionally seen as disposable -wine bottles and bags- become seen as reusable.
But, how do we encourage fishermen to do so?
The core of the project is communication and it acts in a triple direction. Firstly, the reduction of abandoned ghost nets, secondly, the integration of the material into a new circuit to sensitise not just the fishermen, but the general public on this matter and finally, the continued promotion of recycling and responsible consumption since, as it is a reusable product, it becomes a part of the users’ lives.
So, the motivation for fishermen to return the nets is knowing the process that can start thanks to them. In the Port and specially in the collection containers, the communication would remind the fishermen that they are an essential part of the process to save our oceans. They would also receive La Festival wines in Blau Orgasmic bottles to thank them.
Along with the communication, coherence and social value are the other main values of the project. An exhaustive research has been undertaken to create a fully sustainable product capable of making an impact in the social fabric of the city. The machines needed for the project can be built locally, manually and with recycled materials, which also makes the product profitable on a small scale. These machines can be built following the instructions of the Precious Plastic initiative as it is shown on this video. No expertise is needed to build the machines or the product, so the process has been designed to promote the integration of groups at risk of social exclussion.