Chris Fronebner picking up fishing nets on beaches using specialised new tool created as part of his MA in Design
A University of Plymouth student has designed a new tool to help clear fishing nets from our beaches – and has already received national recognition for his efforts. 
Chris Fronebner, who is completing an MA in Design, has created a beach cleaning tool comprised of a telescopic hook with a built-in knife, and a collection bag made from a net.
The main tool is made by 3D printing using filament from discarded nets, and Chris’s work has seen him named as one of the UK’s Green Grads, a national initiative that celebrates graduates with ‘ideas to heal the planet’. 
Seen as a key threat to marine wildlife, fishing nets account for an estimated 25% of the ocean’s plastic waste. Chris designed the tool in the first module of his masters and now wants to make it available to everyone. He said:

I’m passionate about marine wildlife and attended local beach cleans to help combat marine litter. While I was able to physically pick up several items, I’d noticed difficulties in collecting fishing nets, so designed a tool to help.

In a short period of time, I collected and cleaned 12 kilograms of fishing gear; the equivalent weight of 600 empty plastic bottles. My findings showed that with my equipment, I was able to remove a greater amount of debris from the beach in the same timeframe compared to the official beach clean-up I attended. 
Ideally I would like to open source the tool and make it available globally. Nothing currently exists to combat fishing net litter specifically, so it’d be great to see it utilised worldwide.
Chris has also created a hand-powered wind-up torch, a more sustainable solution to the battery-powered equivalents, and will be displaying his work as part of the University of Plymouth MA Design Show ‘Take the Hint’ at Market Hall, Devonport, in conjunction with the Real Ideas Organisation, until Thursday 19 October.
He added: 
“The torch is a sustainable low-tech concept in a high-tech world – sometimes the simplest ideas are those that work most effectively. I am deeply committed to creating sustainable products that have a positive impact on our world both now and in my future career.” 
Chris Fronebner wind-up torch
Chris Fronebner's wind-up torch 

Our students come up with some incredible designs, which I’m really looking forward to seeing at our showcase this week. It’s fantastic to see Chris recognised as one of the UK’s leading new designers in the Green Grads scheme, and I hope his initiatives make an impact now and for many years to come.

Peter DavisPeter Davis
Associate Head of School - International

3D Design small group tutorial

International Marine Litter Research Unit

Marine litter is a global environmental problem with items of debris now contaminating habitats from the poles to the equator, from the sea surface to the deep sea. 
Furthering our understanding of litter on the environment and defining solutions.
marine plastics, plastic, marine litter, on a beach