Wetsuit Recycling: Keeping Neoprene out of a Landfill
A sustainable solution for old wetsuits.
As surfer’s in the Northeast US, we need a wetsuit (almost) all year round. Fortunately for us wetsuit technology has come a long way, now stretchier and warmer than ever. Although wetsuits are great for keeping us toasty in the New England waters, they are not so great for the environment.
Wetsuits are built with a variety of different materials – but one thing the majority of suits have in common is the use of Neoprene. Neoprene is a non-biodegradable material derived from petroleum, and therefore bares a huge environmental impact. There are a few companies working on plant based rubbers to eventually replace the hazardous neoprene, but at the moment to get the most stretch and warmth out of a suit, one must resort to using neoprene.
Although wetsuits are built to be rugged and last as long as possible, with all of the use and abuse they get the time will come where you will need to get rid of it.. and the worst thing you can do is throw it in the garbage.
We care about where your old suit ends up… which is why we partnered with the crew over at Lava Rubber to bring Rhode Island a wetsuit recycling program. Take your old wetsuit and give it some new life. We will deliver your old wetsuits to the crew at Lava Rubber and they will upcycle them into new and useful lifestyle products (Yoga mats, coasters, changing mats, etc.).
Now you can feel good about getting rid of those old, useless wetsuits!
There are a few simple rules:
- Wetsuits brought in for recycling must be dry. No soggy suits will be accepted.
- Wetsuits must be clean. Shake out the sand and cob webs before you bring it by.
- Tell your friends. Help us make this the new normal routine for an old wettie! The environment will thank you later.