Unless you’ve been living under a rock on the moon for the last few months, you probably don’t need us to point out that there’s a lot of problems with the world right now. With that in mind, it is nice to see big brands like Surfdome and Patagonia stepping up to do something about at least one of these problems.
With a whopping 80 billion items of clothing sold every year and almost every single one of these items getting wrapped in a plastic poly bag at some point, it’s clear that a plastic problem exists – especially when you consider that, on average, 72% of plastics either wind up in landfills or escape into our ecosystems (for poly bags, this figure is as high as 90%).
What’s to be done about all this though? Couldn’t you just remove the poly bag from the process entirely? To these two questions, the answers are “something” and “no, not that.”
“72% of plastics either wind up in landfills or escape into our ecosystems”
Although, removing the poly bag from the buying process completely might sound like the obvious thing to do this approach could actually risk countless items being damaged and thrown away; meaning it’s a solution with potentially even worse environmental consequences than the current status quo.
This is where Surfdome and Patagonia’s trial initiative comes in with a solution.
Despite their own packaging being 99.81% plastic-free, and 99.44% being made of recycled natural fibres, in 2019 – Surfdome still saw that something needed to be done about the products arriving at their warehouse in poly bags. These poly bags were getting passed on to customers and then, from there, not finding their way to one of the few collection points where poly bags are accepted for recycling.
What’s happening with this scheme then is that for every Patagonia product bought during the Plastic Cutback trial, running between 16th March and 16th June 2020, Surfdome will remove the poly bag for the final and least intensive leg of its journey. They will then recycle the poly bags in bulk via a trusted third party. Nice one.
Head here for more information on the Plastic Cutback scheme.