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Environmental issues such as water pollution and climate change continue to pose a major threat to humanity. Across the world, a new generation of environmental activists is taking matters in their own hands and using technology to find innovative solutions to unprecedented challenges. The change starts now.

Galaxy for the Planet

Join Rob Wilson and the team at Ghost Diving New Zealand as they head out on an ocean clean-up mission to remove discarded fishing nets.

Solve for Tomorrow

Find out how Jazmin Florentin and Diego Fernandez are creating solutions to provide clean drinking water to impoverished communities in Paraguay.

Change in Action

Join Rob Wilson and the team at Ghost Diving New Zealand as they head out on an ocean clean-up mission.

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Rob Wilson and his team at Ghost Diving New Zealand are dedicated to ridding the oceans of plastics. Reclaimed waste goes on to live a second life in everything from reusable water bottles to smartphones.


Truck tires, street cones, car batteries, live ammunition, and industrial-scale fishing nets; it's not what you'd expect to find at the bottom of the ocean. But this is just a sample of what Rob Wilson and his team at Ghost Diving New Zealand retrieve from the waters surrounding Wellington in their monthly cleanup missions.

“When you find 32 street cones in a pile on the seabed because someone has just heaved them into the water, you've got to think, 'Where's this person's brain at?'” says Wilson. “There can't be any logic to it.”

Ocean waste and derelict fishing gear, also known as "ghost gear"—damage delicate ecosystems and harms aquatic wildlife, which has knock-on effects further along the food chain. It's an environmental issue that's seen exponential growth for decades.

Ridding the oceans of waste is a global challenge that requires collaboration; this is where community-driven volunteer teams like Ghost Diving New Zealand are essential. Wilson and his team emphasize marine education and conservation, organizing cleanup missions and rescuing wildlife.

“Working at the local level, we are able to rescue live animals from things like fishing nets,” explains Wilson. “The whole point of what we do is to improve the lives of these creatures who have no voice to complain about living in a rubbish dump.”
Ghost Diving New Zealand's work is making a difference at the local level. However, more needs to be done.



Around 65% of New Zealanders live within five kilometers of the sea, while the marine economy employs over 30,000 people. So, managing the water around this island nation is vitally important. His team's progress has buoyed Wilson since Ghost Diving New Zealand launched in 2015.

“The fight against ocean pollution is a David and Goliath scenario. But we are not just going to sit there and let it happen? Just the rubbish that we’ve removed from our local harbor is having a dramatic improvement on the amount of sea life we’re seeing,” says Wilson. “I think we'd see a much bigger impact on a global scale if more people got stuck in and tried to make a difference in their own local environments.”

Real change will require input from big corporations that can use their scale in the fight to combat marine pollution. Samsung Electronics, a major corporate driver of sustainable technology, is steering the conversation toward better solutions for recovered fishing nets. According to the company’s proprietary research, by the end of 2022, their use of recycled ocean-bound material could prevent more than 50 tons of discarded fishing nets from entering the world’s oceans. Based on the concept of "purposeful innovation", it is repurposing these ocean-bound plastics for use in its technologies.

The alternative has unfathomable consequences. Currently, only 10% of plastic is recycled worldwide; the rest ends up in landfills and the oceans, with 290,000 tons floating on the ocean's surface. There are also estimated to be 5.25 trillion pieces of macro and microplastics in the oceans, taking millennia to decompose, and are found in one-third of fish caught for human consumption.

And with plastics killing approximately 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine animals every year, big solutions are needed.

290,000 tons

of plastic is equivalent to...

2,500 blue whales
5.25 trillion

pieces of plastic is enough to circulate the...

Earth's equator 425 times
640,000 tons

of fishing nets is equivalent to...

20 Statues of Liberty
Repurposing the Net

Abandoned nylon fishing nets are a significant contributor; people discard over 640,000 tons of them annually. Not only do these nets pose a serious threat to marine life but they also find their way into human food supplies, and due to long-term exposure to seawater and UV rays, they become fragile, making them difficult to upcycle.

Samsung is repurposing this ocean-bound plastic by developing an innovative, eco-conscious polyamide resin constructed from a minimum of 20% recycled fishing nets. The material’s performance is optimized to the high-quality standards required in smartphone technology before being incorporated into Samsung devices. It is currently used in key components of Samsung’s Galaxy S22 series, specifically the key bracket and inner cover of the S Pen.

The move to develop this new material follows the company's environment-focused Galaxy for the Planet vision that includes increasing its use of recycled materials, eliminating single-use plastic from packaging and diverting all waste from landfills by 2025. Samsung aims to use the company’s scale, and spirit of open collaboration to deliver tangible climate action across its mobile business enabling users to adopt more sustainable lifestyles.

“We believe that everyone has a role to play in providing innovative solutions that protect the planet for generations to come. [We] understand our efforts need to match our scale, our influence and the magnitude of the entire Galaxy ecosystem around the world.”

Stephanie Choi, EVP & CMO of the MX Business at Samsung Electronics

These new materials allow people like Wilson to become part of the circular economy. And the efforts of a business like Samsung make all the difference.

“Having a more environmentally-conscious smartphone option that bolsters conservation and utilizes repurposed products is fantastic,” says Wilson. “I think people are going to be blown away by this.”


The importance of plastic-free oceans cannot be understated. But change requires collaboration, and while local initiatives are a good start, more needs to be done. Samsung understands this and is implementing creative solutions to help keep our oceans clean.

By 2024 the number of smartphone users is predicted to increase to over seven billion. As that number rises, Wilson knows his efforts are making a difference, and he has even more reason to keep fishing for ghosts.