Surf sportswear retail leader Rip Curl has announced a new partnership with Franco/U.S.-based recycling company TerraCycle, a Wetsuit Take Back Recycling Program enabling surfers to recycle their surf branded wetsuit across Australia at participating Rip Curl stores.
Australian company Rip Curl has launched a program where surfers across the country can recycle their surf branded wetsuit which they don’t use anymore at Rip Curl stores in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
Through this program, all the recycled rubber will be repurposed as part of the safety attenuation layer of soft fall matting that is built at playgrounds and outdoor gyms.
Customers can drop off their used wetsuits in the store free of charge and the select Rip Curl stores will accept any surf branded wetsuit except booties, gloves, hoods or heavy diving drysuits. For those who find it difficult to travel to the store in person or for those residing in Tasmania, South Australia, the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), the stores will accept the suits by post.
In a press release seen by Green Queen, environmental, social and governance manager at Rip Curl Shasta O’Loughlin said that one of the company’s core values is Community and Environment. “With this in mind we have spent over three years developing the most effective and environmentally conscious solution for wetsuit recycling available in Australia today. TerraCycle has a huge network and were able to assist us in finding the best possible solution for recycling used wetsuit neoprene. We are really excited about this partnership, and the reach that it can provide across Australia. Once the program has proven itself here at home, we are excited to explore a global expansion. We want to give all surfers the opportunity to recycle their old wetsuits.”
Rip Curl creates products for surfers, by surfers, and we want to ensure we extend the life of those products and repurpose them into a second commodityShasta O’Loughlin, environmental, social and governance manager of Rip Curl
General Manager of TerraCycle Australia and New Zealand Jean Bailliard said of the news: “The program was [sic] a great way to support sustainably-minded consumers.”
O’Loughlin added: “We first launched a local wetsuit recycling program at the Rip Curl Flagship Store in Torquay, Victoria, back in April of 2018. The response was overwhelming, and the demand was clearly there. Rip Curl creates products for surfers, by surfers, and we want to ensure we extend the life of those products and repurpose them into a second commodity. Our nation-wide expansion and partnership with TerraCycle is the next big step in this space.”
Participating Rip Curl stores include Torquay, Sorrento (foreshore) in Victoria; Byron Bay, North Wollongong, Narrabeen, Ulladulla in New South Wales; Burleigh Heads in Queensland; and Scarborough in Western Australia.
TerraCycle regularly makes headlines for its Loop initiative, a reusable packaging e-commerce platform and framework that has seen the company partner with fast food Burger King, beauty retail giant Ulta Beauty and even retail behemoth Carrefour in Paris tested out two stores to provide a range of groceries in refillable packaging to its consumers.
Read: Return & Reuse: 8 Circular Packaging Companies To Watch In The Race To Close The Waste Loop
Lead image courtesy of Stab.