Outdoor clothing company Patagonia is about to publish their first children's picture book on May 24th, a bilingual story about ocean pollution and recycling. Uniquely presented in English and Spanish, Better than New: A Recycle Tale / Mejor que Nuevo: Un Cuenta de Reciclaje, written by Vermont-based children's author Robert Broder with illustrations by Lake Buckley, follows two Chilean kids who encounter a sea lion tangled in an abandoned fishing net. Together they free their ocean friend and consider what to do with the net. With the help of a bird, they recycle it into something useful again, something better than new. The book opens kids' eyes to the issue of plastic pollution in the ocean and challenges them to help the planet by making good choices and taking action.
Abandoned fishing nets (aka "ghost nets'') are considered one the world’s most harmful forms of ocean pollution. The story in Better Than New was inspired by a real-life solution created by California-based company Bureo, who has established an infrastructure for collecting and recycling discarded nets and provides Patagonia with recycled materials for use in various products including Patagonia Baggies.