Rise Above Plastics
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Waste To Waves / Foam to Surfboard Recycling!

December 16 2011 | Rise Above Plastics,
by Bill Hickman

Waste to Waves™ is an exciting new recycling program developed by nonprofit organization Sustainable Surf, that’s designed to turn waste materials into new, eco-friendlier surfing products. Partners for the initial launch campaign include Reef, SPY Optic, Marko Foam, Surfrider Foundation and Waste Management.  Waste to Waves lets you “Turn Your Trash To Slash” this holiday season, by collecting and recycling your used styrofoam* packaging waste, into a new recycled EPS surfboard blanks made by Marko Foam.  *( note – what everyone typically calls “styrofoam” is technically known as Expanded PolyStyrene or EPS; just saying…) 

Foam litter is a threat to the marine environment because if it's littered it breaks into small pieces, which do not biodegrade, that can migrate through your local watershed.  Marine life can't distinguish between plastic and biodegradeable items so they might mistake the foam for food with negative impacts.

Waste to Waves can only collect clean white packaging foam, no cups or other types of foodware.  Food waste contamination is not good for blanks and a big reason it's really hard to recycle foam foodware, in addition to the fact it's mostly air.  The Waste to Waves project is looking for the stuff that comes from things you buy, such as televisions, computers, microwaves, etc…

Right now the project is only in California and the general public can go to a participating surfshop to drop off your waste “styrofoam” from packaging material in a specially marked Waste to Waves collection box.  Click here to find your local participating Surf Shop.  The program runs from Nov 22 – Jan 31st in select CA surf shops, and there will be a few special “styrofoam” collection drive events as well.  We encourage you to organize a collection event in your community, email kevin@sustainablesurf.org with your ideas.

Because you will directly help to create more sustainable surfboard materials, that help reduce negative impacts from surfboard production, including reducing the carbon footprint of the surf blank by up to 50%. You’ll also be diverting this used styrofoam (aka-plastic) waste away from the trash dump, which helps keep it from potentially ending up back on our oceans, waves and beaches. Click here to find out more about why surfboards should be a lot more sustainable.

Enter the Free Surfboard Raffle!  Simply signup online here for your chance to win a free ECOBOARD™ verified surfboard – it’s a T.Patterson shortboard that will be painted by surfer/artist Mike Losness – just for dropping off your waste styrofoam.  This ECOBOARD™ verified surfboard will be made from the following materials:  Recycled EPS blank from Marko Foam with a bamboo stringer, Super Sap epoxy resin from Entropy Resin (bio-based resin with 30% biological content), FCS Greenflex fins made from recycled carpet fibers, and Vented leash plug made from recycled plastic!

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