Wetsuits and other neoprene products are often underestimated as a source of pollution and waste in the landfills. However, the exponential growth of the number of people who practice various water sports, coupled with the lack of sustainable collection/recycling system for this type of products means that the issue is getting serious.
Although there are recent developments in more eco-friendly neoprene using natural rubber, there is a long way to reach the point where this type of material substitutes the conventional neoprene which is based on petroleum. Whether for additional R&D required or just for the pure price premium, it would take many years until we reach the point where a wetsuit is biodegradable and hence its disposal is rather harmless.
Being a very environmentally-conscious organization and having our own manufacturing of neoprene products, we have been looking for different ways to recycle old neoprene products. Finding an effective and sustainable solution to the problem of disposing wetsuits and other neoprene products has become one of the core goals of our Foundation. Partnering with the leading Higher Chemico-technological institute of Bulgaria, we took the initiative to investigate and analyze ways in which to recycle neoprene. We already have very positive results and aim to share the good news on our website soon.
Meanwhile we are planning on setting up a neoprene collection system across Europe which would aim to minimize the number of wetsuits going on the landfill and provide the necessary feedstock for the recycling programme to be sustainable and growing.
For additional information about the programme or ideas for collaboration, please reach out via the contact form on our website or e-mail.